126The Vietnamese Prime Minister set an objective for the country’s tourism sector back in 2011; the country is hoping to and working towards welcoming somewhere between 17-20 million and 82 million in international and domestic tourists, respectively. Part of the new plan is to create approximately 580,000 room across the country, in order to increase accommodation.
Data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), shows that people have been flocking to the country, to its many rooftop bar in Saigon or sandy Ha Long Bay, the country welcomed an increase number of tourists from 2011 to 2017, with a continuous and consistent double-digit annual increase. For 2016, Vietnam welcomed 10 million international visitors, which increased to more than 13 million the following year. Meanwhile, the country welcomed 62 million domestic visitors, increasing to 68 million the following year.
The UNWTO ranked Vietnam as 6th in its list of fastest growing tourism destinations for 2017, and first in its list of tourism development growth.
The country’s hospitality sector had made steps to account for the growth, with data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), showing an increase in staying facilities for tourists increased from 256,739 rooms across 13,756 establishments in 2011 up to 420,000 rooms distributed across 21,000 establishments in 2016.
However, Savills Vietnam have noted that there not only a deficiency in supply of establishments, and that some of them remained unnoticed and unused. They say that this is due to a lack of value-added utilities, which has resulted in short stay durations and lack of return trips. Most simply just go for the restaurant or the rooftop bar in Saigon, opting out of taking advantage of value-added services and products.
They say that a plan must be put into place, like how Thailand handles it; not relying entirely on the country’s natural landscape in order to cultivate their tourism industry, with lots of constructed developments to bring in tourists.
General consensus is agreed that good natural conditions in a country are good, but function best as merely the foundation for good tourism development, with developments made to attract tourists being a necessity if the country wishes to further improve its tourism sector.