Update: 08:45 | 28/05/2022
Vietnam climbed eight places against 2019 in the biennial travel and tourism development index, making it one of the world's three biggest improvers along with Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
Vietnam gained an overall score of 4.1 out of seven points, rising by 4.7 percent to leap from 60th in 2019 to 52nd out of 117 economies in the 2021 index released on Wednesday by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Tourists take a boat ride around Trang An Scenic Landscape in Ninh Binh Province, northern Vietnam, 2019.
The index measures the factors and policies that will enable sustainable and resilient development of tourism from business, safety and health conditions, to infrastructure and natural resources, environmental, socioeconomic and demand pressures.
The WEF report further ascribed Vietnam’s improved ranking to its achievements in Covid pandemic prevention, flexible adaptation as well as continuous efforts to develop safe tourism.
Vietnam performed well in price competitiveness, safety and security, air transport and port infrastructure as well as natural resources.
However, the country still needs to improve factors like tourist service infrastructure, prioritization for travel and tourism, and environmental sustainability, the report said.
Japan tops the ranking, with the U.S. in second, followed by Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, the U.K. Singapore ranked ninth and Italy rounded out the top 10.
Starting March 15, the country allowed quarantine-free entry and resumed its pre-pandemic visa exemption policy for citizens from 24 countries, including Japan, South Korea and European economies.
After over a month of reopening, Vietnam has lifted most Covid-related restrictions and foreign arrivals now only have to show travel insurance of at least $10,000.
Vietnam targets five million foreign tourists this year, which is only around 30 percent of the total foreign arrivals in 2019, the year before the onset of the pandemic.