Following significant declines in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic and global restrictive measures put in place to control the spread of the virus, inbound travel flows to Vietnam are likely to remain limited during 2021 due to border control measures and a ban on inbound arrivals earlier in the year, especially from countries facing high level risks of COVID-19 infections such as India. Vietnam has mainly allowed foreign investors, workers, and specialists to enter the country, with most of these inbound tourists stemming from countries as South Korea, Japan and China, as they are the leading national investors in Vietnam.
Although there were several social distancing periods in the first two months of 2021, followed by further restrictions imposed on a number of cities in late April due to another outbreak, the pandemic has generally been perceived to have been well controlled by the Vietnamese government, leading the General Statistics Office to forecast potential GDP growth of approximately 6% over the first two years of the forecast period as consumer sentiment strengthens in the country, combined with a strong increase in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). In April 2021, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam announced its plan to process vaccine passports for regular international passengers from September 2021, depending on the vaccination progress made by Vietnam and assessment of herd immunity following mass vaccinations.
Airlines and hotels, both areas of travel and tourism which have been significantly impacted by the pandemic due to various restrictions imposed by local and global governments, have worked closely to launch various promotional campaigns and products to encourage domestic tourists to travel during 2021. Vinpearl, chained leader of luxury and upscale hotels in Vietnam, launched its “Chill Combo” product at extremely competitive prices of 30% lower compared to its regular offer.
The pandemic has accelerated various trends that were already gaining momentum within travel and tourism, including online travel sales, and in particular mobile travel sales, driven by increasing smartphone penetration in Vietnam and demand for greater convenience, particularly due to closures of physical travel intermediaries and ongoing concerns about contact with others. Furthermore, the pandemic has enabled greater consumer reach of online travel sales as local consumers spend greater time at home online searching for competitive deals while planning potential future trips.
While the initial focus has been to attract concerned domestic tourists with the virus still in circulation resulting in predictions for a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels in terms of domestic leisure trips by 2023, the forecast period is likely to see Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in tandem with tourism companies based in lodging, airlines and travel intermediaries work closely to increase the desirability of Vietnam amongst international tourists via online platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, as part of a sustainable government strategy for tourism’s recovery over the forecast period.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Travel industry in Vietnam with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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