According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, foreign tourists to Vietnam have shot up to almost 4.2 million in the first seven months of 2013. The figure was considered as a 5.9 percent rise compared to the previous year. In the report, it was seen that the visitors from Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the United Kingdom have increased drastically. This is because the visa requirement to Vietnam has been eased and more frequent flights introduced by various airlines.
The spokesperson of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism stated that the growth of the international tourist arrivals was a positive sign in the middle of slow economic recuperation. But then, the Vietnam tourism industry got to pull their socks up so that the goal of reaching 7 million international tourists for the entire year can be hit. As mentioned above, the tourist number has arrived at the 4.2 million mark, which is 60% of the target. Therefore, it is not entirely mission impossible for them to achieve their goal!
Other than working on visa exemption policy as well as tax reduction for tourists, one of the most sure-fire ways for Vietnam to realize the above is to open a new gateway for tourists to get to their preferred spots. That is why a new airport in Vietnam is in the pipeline since its initial development in 2005. However, the plans only came after the huge tourism boost in 2012. The proposed new airport – Long Thanh International Airport - is located in the southern province of Dong Nai, 43 kilometres away from Tan Son Nhat Airport and 32 kilometres from Bien Hoa military airport.
Upon completion, the airport will be serving 80-100 million people and handling 5 million tons of cargo a year. The airport is believed to be on par with other huge airports in Southeast Asia. The first stage of the construction is expected to kick off in 2015, followed by the second and third stages. The scheduled operational time will be in year 2020, with a capacity of about one quarter of the above.
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has a lot to offer. Whether it is World Heritage cultural sites in Halong Bay or growing city of Saigon, tourists are spoilt for choices. The new airport will positively bring a win-win situation to both Vietnam and the visitors.