While Indonesia is looking at welcoming 14 million international travellers in 2017 – a slower growth due to Bali Mount Agung eruption, which has partially depressed tourism deman- Vietnam is now expecting to welcome 13 million international arrivals in 2017, posting the highest-ever growth of 30 percent against 2016, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) indicated at the end of last week.
Vietnam is set to make total tourism revenues of over 500 trillion Vietnamese dong (some 23 billion U.S. dollars), contributing around 7 percent of its gross domestic product this year.
To lure more foreign visitors, Vietnam will continue to promote its destinations both at home and abroad, especially in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, improve quality of aviation, customs, accommodation and tourism services, and ensure security and safety at places of interests, said the administration.
Vietnam hosted more than 11.6 million international arrivals in the first 11 months of this year, up 27.8 percent on-year, with the highest growth of 55.3 percent in the number of visitors from South Korea, followed by China (up 44.9 percent) and Russia (34.8 percent).
Last year, Vietnam received over 10 million foreign visitors, including 2.7 million Chinese tourists, posting respective rises of 26 percent and 51.4 percent.
Vietnam success relies on simplified visa procedure as well as better air connectivity as the government is opening up more airports to international flights. From a total of three official international airports (Danang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City), the country has now seven airports being already linked to international destinations (the three above as well as Dalat, Haiphong, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc). Halong Bay new airport and Hue are likely to be the next destinations to benefit from direct international connections.
Halong Bay Airport is located 50 km away from the UNESCO World Heritage site and will have an initial capacity for five million passengers. The runway will be capable of handling an aircraft the size of a Boeing 777. It will be the first private airport in he country and was built to support the opening of a US$2 billion casino in Halong City. Teh airport is to officially open next March and will likely serve to welcome international flights for the ASEAN Travel Forum 2019, which is due to be hosted in Halong -according to non-official sources.