Since Vietnam has become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) a number of foreign investments to the country have increased. It has also helped to bring more foreign visitors here. Now as a member of the WTO,
Vietnam has to allow foreign tourism businesses to enter Vietnam to build and fully own hotels, restaurants and travel agencies and to eliminate unequal treatment of non-Vietnamese tourism companies. All these facts should cause a rapid growth within the tourism industry.
The Vietnamese tourism companies have participated in international and regional tourism industry forums in recent years in order to be better prepared for the global integration that is now arriving. The companies are now in contact with more than 1,000 travel companies in over 60 countries and territories. The country has also signed 25 bilateral agreements related to tourism with foreign governments and it has introduced the Tourism Law that makes the law procedures in the tourism sector more transparent.
The most important tourism destination in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City. In 2006, two-thirds of the tourists that came to Vietnam (2.35 million of 3.58 million people) visited Ho Chi Minh City. The city also generates a significant income thanks to the tourism industry.
The number of tourism related businesses in Ho Chi Minh City is growing. Nowadays there are almost 500 travel companies within the city and the number of hotels has also grown. Nevertheless, the representatives of the Ho Chi Minh City want to double tourism revenue by 2010. They plan to introduce new products to maintain double-digit growth in international arrivals in the coming years. Among those planned services are for example bus tours round the city or cycling trips.
The city"s authorities know that accessibility of information about tourism destination is vital for the industry therefore they plan to establish offices abroad including Tokyo, Seam Reap and Phnom Penh.