In terms of Vietnam's accommodation demand, there were over ten million international arrivals into the country in 2016, a 26% increase on the preceeding year basis. This is the first time Vietnam welcomed over ten million foreign visitors, reflecting the country's growing status as a business destination and tourist hotspot.
The industrial renaissance has driven corporate demand for hotels across the country, whilst visa exemptions, the introduction of new direct air routes and improved marketing efforts have boosted the country's appeal to leisure travellers. Like much of Southeast Asia, leisure demand has been driven by mainland Chinese tourists which hit a record last year in terms of arrivals growth.
Vietnam recently announced it would renew its 15-day visa exemption policy for citizens of Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain until the end of June 2018, whilst the majority of Asian nations are already visa exempt and some other European countries are also exempt.
The first five months of 2017 saw the country welcome over five million international travellers according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, increasing 26% over the same period last year. The country appears on track to meet its annual target this year of 11.5 million foreign visitors.
We can not discount the mammoth growth of domestic tourism and what it also means for the country's hospitality sector - complimenting foreign arrivals. In 2015, Vietnam recorded 57 million domestic visitors which was an astonishing 48% growth on the previour year. The domestic tourism stimulus program, themed "Vietnamese travel in Vietnam - Each journey to love the fatherland more" was launched in 2014 and has heavily contributed to the increase of locals travelling domesstically.
Many local tourism organisations and operators supported the program by boosting advertising and marketing activities. In addition, Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet air and Jetstar Pacific joined the program, offering discounts to various destinations which have underpinned the tremendous growth in air-lift recognised over the past two years.
Vietnam's growing tourism and thriving economy have promoted the hotel and resort market with foreign investors from across the region showing significant interest in vietnam over the past 18 months - the country has become one of the most talked about market in Asia Pacific.