31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Dec 28, 2020 / 14:52

Vietnam tourism severely hurt by Covid-19

Tourism growth of Vietnam in 2020 depends largely on domestic traveling as foreign entry has been restricted.

Vietnam’s tourism industry has been hit hard this year as the country restricts foreign entry and allows arrival on a case-by-case basis, leading to a sharp drop in number of international arrivals by up to 78.7% against 2019. 

 Hoan Kiem lake, the heart of the capital, is one of the most favorite destinations for international tourists. Photos: Ngoc Tu - Duy Khanh

In December only, the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam reached 16,300, down 8.1% month-on-month and 99% inter-annually, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). The country welcomed an estimated 3.8 million international arrivals in 2020, most of them are diplomats, business executives and high-skilled laborers.

Arrivals by air dropped 78.6% year-on-year to around 3.1 million, accounting for 80.3% of the total, while 609,400 people came by road, down 81.9% and the number of those arriving by sea declined 45.2%. 

In 2020, Asian visitors still accounted for the majority of total tourist inflows, with nearly 2.8 million, 80.4% less than last year. Visitors from Europe totaled 671,900, plummeting 69%. Those from the Americas totaled 236,500, plunging 75.7%; from Oceania 102,800 (-76.2%); from Africa 12,500 (-73.9%). 

 Source: GSO, 2020. Chart: Nhat Minh

Total 2020 revenue of travel companies was VND17.9 trillion (US$768.8 million), decreasing 59.5% compared to 2019. Particularly, the tourism revenue of some cities and provinces falls sharply, such as Khanh Hoa (a drop of 85.1%), Quang Nam (-78.7%), Ho Chi Minh City (-76.7%), Danang (-73.3%), Ba Ria - Vung Tau (-64.3%), Binh Duong (-60.1%), among others.

In 2019, the number of inbound tourists to Vietnam reached an all-time high of more than 18 million, contributing to a total tourism revenue of VND720 trillion (US$30.8 million).