According to HCMC’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, an estimated 1 million visitors arrived in the city during the first quarter of January - March 2013 – an increase of 18% on the year before. This means that HCMC is on target to attract 4.1m visitors this year.
To achieve the annual target the city will focus on promoting the image of Ho Chi Minh City as a friendly, attractive and safe destination. It hopes to push through administrative reforms, to speed up tourism growth and establish a strong competitiveness edge over its neighbours, in particular, Thailand.
However anecdotal evidence suggests this might not be so easy as complaints about increased visa costs and long waits at Tan Son Nhat International Airport to collect entry visas abound – and this could well affect the image of HCMC as a friendly and welcoming gateway.
Have you heard any stories about the current arrival process for international visitors? Or would you like to comment?