Vietnam logged 3.82 million international tourist arrivals in the first 11 months of this year, a year-on-year decline of 76.6 percent, reported state-run Vietnam News Agency on Saturday, citing data from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam. Month-on-month, international visitor arrivals were up 19.6 percent in November this year, but down 99 percent compared to November 2019.
International travellers are very important for Vietnam’s casino industry, as most venues in the country are not allowed to accept bets from locals. That includes Hoiana, a casino resort on Vietnam’s central coast. A preview of Hoiana operations started on June 28.
Vietnam News Agency reported in August that, according to government data, total revenue of the existing licensed casinos in Vietnam had more than doubled in the past three years, from VND1.19 trillion (US$51.5 million) in 2017 to VND2.5 trillion in 2019. Still, according to local media reports and some analysts, several properties have been struggling financially.
In January 2017, the Vietnamese government published a decree paving the way for selected domestic casinos to accept bets from economically-qualified local gamblers, for a trial three-year period. Since then, The Corona Casino Resort – located in the country’s southernmost island Phu Quoc – has been the only property that has taken part in the pilot programme
Vietnam’s international travel trade in 2020 has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, though the spread of the virus within the country has so far been controlled, according to comments by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism featured in Vietnam News Agency’s Saturday report.
The report made reference to a strategy by Vietnam of promoting domestic tourism, in face of the huge decline in international tourist arrivals so far this year.
From January to October, the country reported 42.5 million “domestic travellers”, according to Vietnam News Agency. The average hotel occupancy rate in October in some of Vietnam’s main tourist hotspots – namely Da Lat, Sam Son, Sa Pa, Ha Long and Phu Quoc – stood at around “30 to 50 percent”, Vietnam News Agency reported, adding it could go up to 90 percent during weekends.
Vietnam reported a record 18 million international tourist arrivals in 2019, Vietnam Government Portal reported last month. The country’s tourism revenue last year hit US$36 billion.
Vietnam’s tourism industry has so far lost at least US$23 billion in revenue due to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, said the country’s Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien, during a question and answer session at the country’s National Assembly on November 10, as cited by Vietnam Government Portal.
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