In the first quarter of 2017, Vietnam welcomed close to 4.3 million international tourists, representing an increase of over 30% over the same period of last year while tourism revenues reached US$5.79 billion during the first quarter.
The rise of Vietnam tourism continues. According to the first data released for the month of April, total international arrivals to the country reached 4.28 million visitors, up by 30.3 percent over the same period of 2016.
The strong growth is largely attributed to the dynamic of the Chinese market. From January to April, China continued to be the leading tourist market for Vietnam, reaching 1.27 million arrivals, a rise of 61.1% over the same period of last year. China represents 29.7 percent of all international visitors to the country.
South Korea remains the second largest inbound market with 701,837 travellers, up by 35.1% and is followed by Japan with 261,571 arrivals (up by 6.1%), the USA with 228,521 arrivals (up by 9.1%) and finally Russia, Europe’s largest inbound market to Vietnam. Russian travellers generated 230,946 arrivals (+60.3%). Russia is more than twice as big than the second largest European market, the UK (106,500 arrivals).
According to the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 Edition by the World Economic Forum, Vietnam ranked 67th out of 136 countries. Main drivers to Vietnam Travel and Tourism competitiveness are its cultural resources and business travel (30th), natural resources (34th), price competitiveness (35th), human resources and labor market (37th), safety and security (57th).
In the first quarter of 2017, the country organized a series of promotion activities for both domestic and overseas markets such as the Opening Ceremony of National Tourism Year 2017 in Lao Cai Province; Roadshows at international tourism fairs such as the ATF/TRAVEX (Singapore), ITB Berlin (Germany), MITT (Russia). The country will also participate in June to the Mekong Tourism Forum in Luang Prabang and then to the Thailand Travel Mart in Chiang Mai.
The government will continue to build up a tourism market action plan to turn the branch into a spearhead economic sector of Vietnam and submit the draft of Tourism Law (Amendment) to the National Assembly. Vietnam could then offer free visa-on-arrivals to more countries, including Australia, the Benelux, Switzerland and the United States.