In 2010, more than five million foreign visitors travel to Vietnam, 15 percent more than 2009 and ranking fourth among countries and territories worldwide.
Professor Frederic Jallat from the European School of Management (ESCP Europe) assessed that increases in the number of visitors to Vietnam is attributed to the improved Asian economic context (the number of tourists coming to Vietnam from Cambodia, China, Thailand and the Republic of Korea hit record high), results of efforts that Vietnamese authorities made over the past 10 years, Vietnam's progress, and outstanding cultural events like the 1,000th Thang Long - Hanoi Anniversary and others that all made Vietnam become an attractive destination for visitors worldwide.
The professor said that Vietnam is a leading country in tourist attraction and that the country is becoming more and more attractive for visitors. To reach its targets and develop a professional tourism industry, Vietnam needs to combine marketing with production and workforce development, further promote communications activities, increase the local content of tourist services, set quality standards, and implement communications strategies to stimulate service purchase and establish networks of loyal customers.
He confided that France, a world-leading tourist destination that welcomed almost 80 million foreign visitors in 2010, has succeeded because the French government and related authorities have systematical and neat tourist service marketing and management policies and have been very well performing tourism management for almost 50 years. France's tourist service marketing and management industry has recently continued benefiting from idea development and important management.
Many experts think that Vietnam has reasons to succeed in tourism. Vietnam has world famous historical and cultural relic sites, attractive cities (including the old capital of Hue in Thua Thien Hue Province and the old town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province that all have been recognized as the world's heritages by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO), six biological reserves, and Ha Long Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park that have been certified as the world's heritages. Vietnam ranks 16th among countries and territories worldwide in terms of biodiversity and is home to 16 percent of all biological species worldwide. Apart from sea-related tours, cultural tours, eco-tours and sports-related tours are developing well here in Vietnam. Lao Cai, Yen Bai and Phu Tho provinces in the northern country are centers of cultural tour development. Recently, Lonely Planet, a tourism magazine, ranked Sa Pa town in Lao Cai Province among the world's 10 most attractive places to walk.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is implementing a strategy for tourism development to 2020. Many cooperative projects were signed. Fourteen French projects totaling US$188 million in capital were discussed on the occasion of Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh's visit to Paris in France in May 2011.