Vietnam expects to welcome 18 million foreign travelers by 2026, equal to the figure in 2019 when COVID-19 had yet to hit the country, according to a tourism development plan by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
The plan, which was approved by the national government on Saturday, was presented as the country is going to fully reopen international tourism on March 15 after nearly two years of closure due to COVID-19 impacts.
With an aim to make tourism a critical industry in the coming time, the plan outlines the key targets and tasks for the tourism sector in two phases from now until 2026.
In the first phase, from 2022 to 2023, the sector is expected to attract up to nine million international tourists, equivalent to 50 percent of that in 2019, and 65 to 70 million domestic travelers, equal to 75 to 80 percent of the 2019 figure.
Total travel revenue in this stage is projected to reach up to VND450 trillion (US$19.63 billion), or 50 percent of the amount in 2019.
In the second phase from 2024 to 2026, the tourist industry will speed up its recovery pace to welcome 18 million international visitors – equal to the 2019 figure – and around 85 million domestic tourists by 2026, earning a total revenue of VND900 trillion ($39.26 billion).
In phase 1, the ministry will assist tourism businesses in accelerating recovery via specific solutions such as maintaining reductions in value-added tax (VAT) and corporate income tax (CIT), lowering electricity charges and land rent, and extending the CIT payment deadline until the end of 2023.
The sector will launch tourism promotion events in major markets at home and abroad, while implementing pilot programs to welcome back international travelers, and boost tourism staff training, according to Cong An Nhan Dan (People’s Police) newspaper.
The ministry will build a national network of small- and micro-sized tourism firms for mutual support in their recovery process.
Phase 2 will see the tourism sector develop high-quality human resources and build up sustainable tourism labor markets.
Other tasks include upgrading traffic and technical infrastructure in national tourist areas and spurring smart tourism and tourism development on digital platforms, according to national radio station Voice of Vietnam.
In order to achieve the goals, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam asked the ministry to take steps to reopen tourism on the basis of safe and flexible adaptation to the COVID-19 epidemic.
The deputy PM also required the ministry to coordinate with other ministries and agencies in carrying out the tasks detailed in the nation’s tourism development strategy by 2030.
The ministry also needs to review and remove all difficulties and obstacles hindering the tourism sector from completing the targets.