Despite the stagnation due to international lock-down for almost nine months of 2020 without any sign of re-opening, awards from prestigious international organisations for Vietnam's tourism industry are undoubted highlights. It is obvious that the ranking of Vietnam's tourism industry has never been as stable as it is now.
From "global phenomena"
Currently, Vietnam is not only known as a destination favoured by its magnificent natural beauty, with huge natural caves or spectacular bays recognised by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Area. Vietnam is now different as it is transforming for a revolution in the tourism industry with countless international-scale projects honoured by the world without "oversleeping" and enjoying favour of nature.
Vietnam now owns masterpiece resorts recognised as the World’s Leading Luxury Resort. It also owns large-scale amusement parks named as Asia's Leading Theme Park. There are tourist destinations honoured by the world community as one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, etc. All of those, which were just a dream 10 years ago, now have come true, forming a solid foundation for Vietnam's tourism to promote international rankings and turning Vietnam into an attractive destination for the world's top elite, billionaires, celebrities and politicians.
Golden Bridge - Sun World Ba Na Hills
Many people may still remember the opening of Cau Vang (Golden Bridge) on Ba Na Hills in the last months of 2018, which was known as a beautiful strip of silk on giant hands from the cliffs, attracted full attention of tourists and the media around the world. A series of the world's largest news agencies such as CNN, BBC, Reuters, etc., or the world's leading magazines such as National Geographic, New York Times, Time, etc., all praised the Golden Bridge as the most wonderful destination in the world in 2018. Golden Bridge has accidentally become the "ambassador" for Vietnam's tourism industry in the new era, promising to bring an out-of-this-world experience to international visitors with leading innovative entertainment and art works.
Golden Bridge reminded us of the “super phenomenon” of Son Doong Cave seven years ago that surprised the whole world. It was true at that time that setting foot in the world’s largest natural cave, the greatest mystery by the Creator dating back to millions of years, was a common dream of almost everyone. The article is not intended to compare Son Doong phenomenon and Golden Bridge phenomenon because all comparisons are lame. Instead, it is to show that Vietnam can completely create global phenomena by its people’s intelligence and talent in addition to special favour of nature.
... to prestigious awards
Clear development strategy and international scale investment are key to creating a completely new appearance for Vietnam's tourism industry over the past five to 10 years. In particular, with the participation of many large corporations, Vietnam has been named by many prestigious awards among the world’s leading destinations.
In early November, Vietnam surpassed China, Thailand, Cambodia and India to be recognised as Asia's Leading Heritage Destination, Asia's Leading Cultural Destination and Asia's Leading Culinary Destination by World Travel Awards Asia - the Oscars of the world tourism industry. In the aviation category, Vietnam Airlines was honoured as "Asia's Leading Airline - Economy Class"; "Asia's Leading Airline - Premium Economy Class" and "Asia's Leading Cultural Airline".
Van Don Airport
In the transport infrastructure category, Van Don Airport by Sun Group won two titles: “Asia's Leading Airport Lounge” (CIP and VIP Lounge) and “Asia's Leading Regional Airport”. Furthermore, the Group's Ha Long International Cruise Port was awarded "Asia's Leading Cruise Port 2020".
In the tour operator category, Vietravel won "Asia's Leading Tour Operator" award. In the entertainment category, two other works by Sun Group were also honored by WTA including Aquatopia Water Park (Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park) as "Asia's Leading Water Park 2020" and Sun World Ba Na Resort as "Vietnam's Leading Theme Park 2020".
High-end and high-quality resort projects invested from the South to the North of Vietnam in recent years have also made significant contributions to raising the international ranking of Vietnam’s tourism industry. Thanks to them, Vietnam is now known as a resort paradise for the elite with the most luxurious resorts in the world. The most outstanding resort to mention is InterContinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula by Sun Group, which has been honoured by the World Travel Awards for four times as the World’s Leading Luxury Resort 2020 and continued to win up to seven awards in World Tourism Awards - Asia 2020 including "Asia's Leading Luxury Resort”. Additionally, two other works of the world-renowned resort designer Bill Bensley and Sun Group maintained their last year’s achievements: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay won “Asia's Leading Luxury Resort & Spa 2020” award and Hotel de la Coupole MGallery Sapa won “Vietnam's Leading Luxury Hotel 2020” award, etc.
Interestingly, most of the works, products, and destinations honoured by WTA belong to famous enterprises in Vietnam's tourism industry such as: Sun Group, Vietnam Airlines, Vietravel, etc. Obviously, the investment contribution of large private enterprises and corporations created favourable conditions for Vietnam's tourism industry to reach a new international ranking, attracting the attention of international visitors.
Hotel de la Coupole MGallery (Sa Pa, Lào Cai)
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien described the development of Vietnam's tourism industry in recent years as a "miracle". In just three years, from 2016 to 2018, the number of international visitors to Vietnam doubled from eight million to nearly 16 million. In 2019 alone, more than 18 million international visitors came to Vietnam (an increase of 16.2% compared to 2018) while there were 85 million domestic visitors. This result makes Vietnam become one of the ten countries having the fastest-growing tourism industry in the world.
Despite the international lock-down for nine months and the “frozen” tourism industry in 2020, the positive growth in domestic tourists, especially the peak of the early summer, is also a bright spot of Vietnam’s tourism industry during this difficult time.
It is undeniable that breakthroughs and creativity in the tourism businesses of Vietnam and large corporations in addition to new high-end and high-quality products and noble awards by the international community and media, etc., form a solid foundation for Vietnam's tourism to reach out and affirm its ranking.