Tourism promotion event held to attract British visitors to Vietnam

Vietnam Reopening, a tourism promotion programme after the country’s border reopening to international travellers, took place in London on April 7.

The programme, the first of its kind held overseas since the reopening on March 15, updated participants on Vietnam’s tourism resumption policy, along with travel products and services of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and Thien Minh Group (TMG) - two organisers of the event. It also served as a platform for Vietnamese and British businesses to share information and seek partnership chances.

Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long said Vietnam is emerging as an attractive destination for foreign tourists thanks to beautiful landscapes, hospitable people, and diverse cuisine. Over the last 10 years, the number of British visitors to Vietnam has grown by 15 - 20% annually, which is partly thanks to direct flights conducted by Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways.

The country looks to become one of the leading tourist attractions in the world, he noted, affirming that the embassy and other representative agencies of Vietnam in the UK will do their utmost to provide the best services for British travellers who are interested in Vietnam.

TMG Chairman and CEO Tran Trong Kien held that the Vietnamese Government’s tourism reopening decision is completely right and clear-sighted. As some major sources of tourists like China and Japan remain closed to or still restrict international tourism, the reopening with only a few restrictions will help Vietnam’s tourism sector connect with large markets like Europe, including the UK.

The target of welcoming 500,000 - 1 million British visitors this year is completely feasible, he added.

Nicolas Corney, Director for aviation services of the London-based Southall Travel, applauded Vietnam’s tourism reopening, describing this as a big opportunity to bolster tourism between the two countries.

He added the 15-day visa exemption for tourists to Vietnam is a perfect condition for those wishing to travel to the country for the first time, and expressed his belief that with beautiful natural landscapes, distinctive culture, and charming cuisine, Vietnam has only few tourism rivals in the region.

It is important for the country to further popularise its tourism reopening policy and entry procedures such as those on pre-departure COVID-19 testing, Corney recommended.

Before the pandemic, Vietnam posted annual tourism growth of 22.7% during 2015 - 2019. The sector made up 9.2% of its gross domestic product.

The tourism sector aims to return to 45 - 50% of the pre-pandemic levels in 2022 - 2023, attracting about 9 million international arrivals by the end of 2023.