Tourist arrivals to Vietnam are accelerating thanks to more air links, more flexible visa conditions, more hotels -including luxury resorts in emerging destinations such as Phu Quoc- and more efficient marketing campaigns. Vietnam image is indeed strengthening and the country is becoming an alternative to Thailand or Indonesia for tourists looking at history, culture and authentic experiences.
Vietnam experienced from January to September 2016 a growth of 25.7% in international arrivals, the equivalent of 7.3 million visitors. In September, the number of foreign visitors surged by 28% compared with the same period last year to reach 813,000 arrivals.
For the first time, the Vietnam National Tourism Administration expects the country to reach the magic mark of 10-million international visitors. Tourism revenue increased to VNĐ297.16 trillion (US$13.32 billion) in the first nine months, a year-on-year increase of 20.2%, with receipts from international tourists accounting for $8 billion.
Most source markets record extreme positive growth with Northeast Asia leading the jump in tourists’ arrivals. Hong Kong is leading with a jump of 79% in total arrivals, followed by China (up by 57.7%) and South Korea (up by 39.9%). Even more mature markets such as Taiwan and Japan recorded double-digit growth rates, up respectively by 15.7% and 11.4%.
The number of tourists from the five European countries entitled to visa exemptions showed all double-digit growth, justifying the policy of free visa on arrivals since 2015. Italy recorded a growth of 31.1%, Spain of 27.9%, the United Kingdom of 23.1%, Germany of 18.6% and France of 13.8%. These excellent performances should be an encouragement for Vietnamese authorities to further simplify visa formalities for new countries. The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland in Europe, Canada and the USA could be next on the list…
Russia was also listed among the top 10 markets with the highest growth, reaching close to 300,000 arrivals, up by 26.5%. Russian markets are again up following two years of decline due to the collapsing value of the Russian rouble. Since the beginning of the year, the rouble stabilized. The Russian currency was quoted on October 6, 2016 at RUB 62.4 for one dollar, compared to RUB 63.6 a year ago and RUB 39.8 in October 2014.
In the first nine months, the number of domestic tourists reached 48.8 million, including 22.5 million overnight guests.