The Hanoitimes - Vietnam has been listed among countries with the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk under the United States` newly-improved travel advisory programme.
The programme, launched by the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs on January 10, ranked countries based on the US' assessment of country's security situation with a four-level ranking system.
Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh province.
Under the system, countries are divided into 4 groups of alert in ascending order from 1 to 4: exercise normal precautions, exercise increased caution, reconsider travel, and do not travel.
Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, excluding Indonesia and the Philippines, were listed in group Level One. Major travel risks in Vietnam are stealing, pickpocketing, and traffic accidents.
In which, North Korea is also Level Four, with the additional restriction that US law prohibits American travelers from using their passports there, effectively banning visits.
On the other hand, countries ranked at Level Two include China, India, Indonesia, Phillippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Countries ranked at Level Three include Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Lebanon, Sudan, Nigeria, Turkey, Pakistan, Russia and Venezuela. Ten war zones and failed states are ranked Level Four, “Do Not Travel”: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Vietnam received a record 12.9 million foreign visitors in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 29.1%. Of the total, 10.9 million tourists arrived by plane while 1.8 million people came to Vietnam on land. About 258,800 visitors came to the nation by seaway. The foreign tourists to Vietnam this year included 9.7 million people from Asia, representing a year-on-year increase of 34.4%. The country received 1.8 million people from Europe, 817,000 people from the US, 420,900 visitors from Australia, and 35,900 people from Africa, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Vietnam expects to attract 17 - 20 million foreign visitors and 82 million domestic ones by 2020. Vietnam wants to make tourism a key economic sector by 2020 that creates a driving force for the development of other sectors.