HCMC – With preventive measures to fight the Covid-19 infection still in force and its doors shut for foreign tourists, the number of international visitors to Vietnam in June — mainly foreign experts and technical employees who are working on projects in the country—plunged to 8,800, the lowest in the past few years. The number dropped over 61% month-on-month and a sharp 99% over the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office.
As for the first half of this year, 3.7 million international tourists arrived in the country, down 55.8% against the same period last year. Vietnam welcomed 2.72 million Asian tourists, which accounted for some 73% of the total but was still lower than the 2019 figure by some 58%.
Tourist arrivals from Vietnam’s source markets including China, South Korea and Japan dropped 55%-63%, while the volume of Cambodian tourists soared as high as 105.9%.
Since the country has yet to resume international travel, the local tourism industry is seeking ways to bounce back by exploiting the domestic segment and initially achieving positive results.
A wide selection of package and Free & Easy tours to popular destinations nationwide were booked by local tourists. Aside from serving individual travelers and small groups such as families, local travel firms promoted MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and Teambuilding events among many companies, reported Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper.
Data from HCMC-based tour operator Saigontourist revealed that it served over 21,200 MICE tourists between May 1 and June 30. The company is expected to serve over 24,500 tourists this month.
At Vietravel, it served 124 tour groups to HCMC last month and is set to receive 168 tour groups this month, with 40,000 travelers. Up to 70% of the firm’s total customers are MICE tourists. The number of tourists booking Vietravel tours and services is forecast to rise sharply by the end of the year.
In addition, many other travel firms have rolled out various tourism stimulus programs to attract tourists in an attempt to restore domestic travel.