Amidst the constant rapid growth of Vietnam’s travel industry, the country’s two largest cities are at last recognized among the “world’s best travel destinations.” In Euromonitor International's Top 100 City Destinations Index 2021, the capital city of Hanoi ranked in 94th while bustling commercial city of Ho Chi Minh was placed 90th.
The Dec. 2 index measures a city's tourism performance in six main areas: Economic and business performance, tourism performance, tourism policy and attractiveness, tourism infrastructure, health and safety, and sustainability.
“The index aims to help businesses, tourism organisations and destinations identify cities that are showing robust tourism growth potential as well as uncovering areas of attention for tourism strategy developers,” according to Euromonitor International.
Paris topped the index, with Dubai, Amsterdam, Madrid and Rome filling out the top five. Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City performed the worst in the sustainability area, which includes measures of climate, pollution and over-tourism, ranking respectively 104 and 109 in this pillar.
Both cities performed best in the tourism infrastructure section, which includes lodging, entertainment and cultural sites, with Hanoi in 38th place and Ho Chi Minh City scoring 44th.
Other Asian cities that outperformed Vietnam in the index are Tokyo leading the region (15th), Beijing (32nd), Seoul (35th), Bangkok (45th), Hong Kong (49th), Delhi (72nd) and Kuala Lumpur (74th).
Vietnam's popularity among international travelers has grown in recent years, thanks to the government's efforts to strengthen the tourism and hospitality industries and the implementation of visa-free travel for citizens from select countries.
TIME Magazine also recognized three Vietnamese cities in July in its ‘World’s Greatest Places Of 2021’ list, further cementing the country's position as a must-visit destination.
Reeling from the impact of the fourth coronavirus wave, Vietnam reopened its borders to foreign tourists in November after a two-year shutdown, and aims to resume regular inbound flights from select cities in the United States and Asia as early as next week.
Ho Chi Minh City’s officials have recommended that the government welcome back foreign tourists who have valid vaccine passports, without imposing quarantine, to help the tourism industry’s recovery. The government is considering lifting the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated persons entering Vietnam under the plan to restore international flights. In January, the plan would be extended to another nine cities including Paris, Frankfurt, Sydney and Moscow.