It was an excellent year for Vietnam with growth of 29.1% compared to 2016. Not enough however to celebrate the 13th million international visitor!
They were 12.92 million international travellers who enjoyed wandering and visiting Vietnam last year. This was so far the best ever year for the country’s tourism industry. The strong growth in tourist arrivals was due to simplified entrance conditions for all travellers thanks to e-visa, the multiplication of air links as well as a relaxing policy versus China.
In total, Vietnam welcomed last 12,922,121 international visitors, up by 29.1%. Growth by air was even stronger, jumping by 32.1%. Air arrivals represent 84.5% of all arrivals.
With warmer relations with its powerful northern neighbour, Chinese travellers are flowing into Vietnam. They now represent 31% of all international arrivals into the country, the equivalent of four million visitors. This represents a growth of 48.6% over 2016!
However, the fastest growing market last year was South Korea, up by 56.5% over 2016. South Korea is Vietnam’s second largest inbound market with 2.4 million arrivals, equivalent to a share of 16.5% . Another fast growing market for Vietnam is Russia. The stabilization of the Ruble and better economic conditions in the country is translating again into important growth of the market. Russian arrivals grew last year by 32%, passing the symbolic half-million visitors’ mark.
Most other markets recorded double-digit figures in the range of 11% to 18%. Exceptional growth rates were recorded for inbound travellers from Taiwan (up by 21%), Spain and the Philippines (both up by 20%) as well as Australia and New Zealand (both up by 15%).
Mediocre growth rates were recorded at Vietnam Indochina’s neighbours (Cambodia was up by only 5% and Lao PDR by 3%) as well as France (+6%), Norway and Switzerland (+5%).
Year 2018 looks already to record a stellar performance for Vietnam tourism with more new flights and new airports (Halong Bay is due to open in March) and further expected growth from China, Russia, Australia and South Korea.