Vietnam has achieved enormous economic growth after a series of reforms in the 1980s, leading to foreign direct investment and the development of the tourism sector. A tourism industry emerged and has burgeoned with the increase of inbound international tourists. In this introductory paper, we critically discuss the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, environmental, and social elements and how they are addressed in Vietnam tourism research. As well as introducing the special issue papers, primarily written by local scholars, we suggest future research directions. In this special issue, the papers offer Vietnamese scholars’ voices, interpretations, methodological approaches, and conceptualizations, as they explore sustainable tourism practices and development in Vietnam. These papers provide meaningful insights for future tourism development and research directions.