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BMI View: Visitor numbers have been strong in 2016 after a below-average 2015, and major international
hotel groups have initiated new developments. This expansion, by both international and domestic chains, is
expected to continue as companies look to capitalise on increasing arrival figures and up-and-coming
areas. We expect very strong growth in the value of the hotel and restaurant industry over the forecast
period. Tourism arrivals will be boosted by the increasing interest from the Asia Pacific region, most
notably China and Japan, and by a greater number of European tourists. This in turn will increase
international tourism receipts, encouraging further investment from the government and private groups. It
should be noted, however, that many tourism providers in Vietnam are run by foreign companies, exploiting
the lack of regulation on foreign-owned businesses. For the country to fully capitalise on the growing
industry, it has been suggested that this situation should be rectified by the government.
Key Updates And Forecasts
? The Vietnamese government recently held talks with tourism leaders in Thailand in a bid to improve
relations and to strengthen the appeal of both countries to foreign tourists. The two countries agreed to
share information on visitor preferences, assist each other with human resource training and jointly
promote holiday destinations and attractions in both countries. Priority will also be given to air travel
between the two countries as well as working to improve road and sea links. Talks have already begun on
new flights between the two nations.
In August 2016 Emirates Airline introduced daily flights between Dubai and Hanoi, via Myanmar. This
represents Emirates' second gateway into Vietnam after flights to Ho Chi Minh were initiated in 2012,
and the move is hoped to significantly boost international tourism.
Recently, the Vietnamese government announced plans to introduce electronic visas from the beginning
of 2017. With many tourists currently facing expensive and lengthy visa application processes, it is hoped
this will boost visitor numbers by making travel to the country much more simple and accessible. The
government has already decided to prolong visa exemption for tourists from the UK, France, Spain,
Germany and Italy for another year in a bid to boost arrivals from these key source markets.