Vietnam News

Vietnam tourism can’t rely on ‘beautiful nature, friendly people’ alone

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Vietnam does not have the best sceneries, nor the friendliest people, and tourists will not just come naturally.

Vietnam has attracted 12.5 million international tourists this year, far higher than its target of 8 million. Many cities and tourism businesses were honored at the World Travel Awards 2023.

But I agree with some experts that it’s hard to call 2023 a successful year for Vietnam tourism. Vietnam opened post Covid much earlier than other countries in the region, but its foreign arrivals’ recovery rate compared to pre-pandemic periods is much lower. There is no foundation to be certain about growth next year.

For Vietnam tourism to really transform and develop sustainably, what do we need?

People working in tourism should go to other countries with an open mind, to learn and to find out the answers to “What international visitors need from the place they go to?” Then they can have a clear and objective view about what they have, and whether those things satisfy foreign tourists yet.

Vietnamese people are often proud of Vietnamese scenery. But frankly speaking, any country has its own beautiful scenery, and unique attractions. It would be flawed for someone to think that their country has the best scenery, which will naturally attract people.

We talk about tourism as a service, and the “service” factor should be more important. What kind of services are Vietnam offering tourists?

We quickly think of price gouging and unlisted prices. I have traveled to China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, and I have never had to worry about prices because they are all clearly listed. You pay if you are okay with the price, or not. Meanwhile in Vietnam, many vendors look at their customers first before naming the prices.

The next problem is hygiene. If we can rate a person’s hygiene based on their home’s toilet, what kind of impressions do the stinky public toilets in Vietnam leave to foreign visitors?

Next, our public transport system is either non-existent or very inconvenient. Tourists prioritize using public transport to cut costs, so they certainly are not always comfortable with riding taxis to and from airports in Vietnam.

Finally, we are often proud of being friendly people. But just try bargaining for a product at a market and leaving without buying and see how unfriendly the vendor can be.

Also, I have not encountered any unfriendly experiences in countries I’ve visited. So, I don’t think friendliness is a Vietnamese advantage.

If Vietnam tourism keeps focusing on promotions without fixing the basic problems, it will continue to struggle with uncertain futures.

By Nguyen Van Hung – – December 27, 2023

Translate / Dịch

En poursuivant la visite de ce site, vous acceptez l’utilisation de traceurs (cookies) vous permettant juste d'optimiser techniquement votre navigation. Plus d’informations

En poursuivant la visite de ce site, vous acceptez l’utilisation de traceurs (cookies) vous permettant d'optimiser techniquement votre navigation. Aucune information sur votre utilisation de ce site ne sera partagée auprès de quelconques médias sociaux, de sociétés commerciales ou d'agences de publicité et d'analyse. Cliquer sur le bouton "Accepter", équivaut à votre consentement.