EIU: Tourism important pillar of Viet Nam’s economy

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Tourism has boosted Viet Nam’s economic growth, proving itself an important pillar of the country’s economy, according to analysis released on December 4 by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) at the UK-based Economist Group.

(Photo: VNA)

The EIU also advised the Vietnamese Government to invest further in infrastructure while addressing concerns relating to environmental issues in order to reach its long-term target for sustainable development.

Statistics from the General Statistics Office show that Viet Nam has welcomed more than 9 million foreign tourists so far this year—a year-on-year increase of 25.4%. In November alone, more than 920,000 foreign travellers visited Viet Nam—up 14% over the previous month. Not only has tourism created more jobs, but the hospitality sector has also helped to boost the development of the retail sector and other customer services.

Explaining the speed of such growth, the EIU said that it was thanks to the Vietnamese Government’s decision to extend visa exemptions by an additional year for tourists from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, who stay in Viet Nam for a maximum of 15 days. The country will also pilot the issuance of e-visas to foreigners starting on February 1, 2017 without requiring them to provide letters of guarantee or invitation.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimated that the direct contribution of tourism to Viet Nam’s GDP in 2015 was 6.6% and the total contribution of the tourism sector to the country’s GDP accounted for 13.9% the same year.

Viet Nam has established itself as an international tourist attraction among Western markets. In addition, the country’s cuisine is also a big draw to international visitors.

According to the EIU, it is possible for Viet Nam to reach its target of welcoming around 15 million foreign tourists by 2020, but this will require more effective and closer management from functional agencies.

However, the EIU also pointed out obstacles preventing Viet Nam from affirming its role in the world’s tourism market result from the quality of the country’s infrastructure, suggesting that Viet Nam increase investment in railways and road transport in order to meet the demand from tourists. The degradation of infrastructure has led tourists to flock to major cities like Ha Noi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, overburdening those locales and creating environmental problems and food hygiene and safety issues.

Source: NDO