HCMC earns US$1 bln per year thanks to medical tourism

Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism Mr. Bui Ta Hoang Vu yesterday answered about solutions to attract domestic and international tourists at the 20th session of the ninth Ho Chi Minh City People's Council.

Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism Mr. Bui Ta Hoang Vu (Photo: Dung Phuong)

Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism Mr. Bui Ta Hoang Vu (Photo: Dung Phuong)

According to the Chief of the Municipal Department of Tourism, the tourism sector has braced for difficulties and challenges with a 52- percent decrease in international visitors and 50- percent turnover downward in the first half of 2020. This is considered the most difficult period of the tourism sector. Besides that, he informed the solutions of the smokeless industry recovery in the post-Covid-19 pandemic period and strategic solutions for the tourism development.

In order to recover the sector, the HCMC Department of Tourism has linked with aviation and railway sectors, travel agencies, etc to launch the largest-ever stimulus programs with 280 tours to the city.

In addition, the city also coordinates with localities to boost the domestic tourism. Director of Tourism Department stressed that it was literally difficult to re-open the international market so the local market could be the main factor to improve this year’s tourism industry. 

The City Department of Tourism also applied information technology, re-structured operations to limit and prevent the bankruptcy of travel agencies. Currently, the city has 1,300 tourism enterprises, including unicorn ones.

Mr. Vu also informed that the spending proportion of international arrivals to the city included 30 to 32 percent for accommodations, 18 percent for food and drink and 14 percent for entertainment and shopping.

Currently, Ho Chi Minh City just has 4,800 hotels, including 15,000 luxury rooms; and in order to stand on the top 20 of Asia in the next decade, the city needs to have 40,000 new high-quality rooms along with ecological parks to receive 15 million international arrivals per year.

Regarding to the river-way tourism, 87 boats are operating on seven domestic river-routes.

Notably, US$1 billion a year flows from the medical tourism in Ho Chi Minh City; meanwhile 300,000 Vietnamese patients paid US$2 billion abroad. The city medical tourism strengths are health-check, traditional medicine, dentistry, beauty, etc. 

The local authority had projects of medical tourism development in the future.

By staff writers- Translated by Huyen Huong

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