Local media quoted the city’s Department of Tourism deputy director, La Quoc Khanh, saying dental tourism was an important part of medical tourism, a key segment the city has identified as a priority.

“The dentistry industry should come up with a list of accredited clinics to introduce to tourists through tour operators and travel agents,” he said.

Tourism experts suggested the health department, dental hospitals and clinics should work closely with travel firms to promote dental tourism in promising markets such as the United States and Australia.

To reach the goal, the city plans to establish a dental tourism club with qualified Vietnamese dentists and professional consultancy from leading experts in the neighbourhood.

It also plans to promote dental tourism in the city and improve the capacity of local dentistry to a level comparable with places like Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, the report said.

According to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, nearly 100,000 foreign tourists travel to the country annually for dental reasons, providing revenues of nearly USD150 million, the report added.

VNAT forecasts the number of dental tourists will soar to 250,000 a year in the next five years.

Vietnam’s tourism sector is targeting 11.5 million international arrivals and 66 million domestic trips in 2017 generating an estimated USD20.3 billion in revenue.

By 2020, the country forecasts 17 to 20 million international visits and 82 million domestic trips that will contribute and estimated 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Revenue from tourism will reach USD35 billion.

Last year, the country recorded 10,012,735 international tourist arrivals up 26.0% over 2015.

By Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit - TTR Weekly - May 25, 2017