The Hanoitimes - The latest figures from the General Statistics Office show that an estimated 12.9 million foreign visitors arrived in Vietnam during 2017, up 29.1 percent against 2016.
December saw Vietnam welcome 1.28 million international tourists, up 8.9 percent against November and 42.2 percent year-on-year. December saw the highest number of international visitors during the year.
Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam.
Those from Asia grew 34.4 percent in total, with tourists from China rising 48.6 percent, South Korea 56.4 percent, Japan 7.6 percent, Taiwan 21.5 percent, Malaysia 17.9 percent, Thailand 13 percent, and Singapore 8 percent.
The number of European tourists reached 1.9 million, up 16.6 percent, with those from Russia rising 32.3 percent. Visitors from five Western European markets exempted from visas for 15 days increased significantly: the UK by 11.3 percent, France 6 per cent, Germany 13.6 percent, the Netherlands 11.7 percent, Spain 20 percent, and Italy 13.2 percent.
Visitors from the Americas stood at 817,000, up 11.1 percent over 2016, of which visitors from the US reached 614,100, up 11.1 percent year-on-year. Visitors from Australia reached 420,900, up 14.3 percent, and Africa 35,900, up 25.6 percent.
In general, tourism activities in 2017 bore impressive results. The tourism industry has adopted many policies and measures to attract tourists, with promotions and the introduction of Vietnam’s tourism in key markets such as Australia, Japan, Europe, and ASEAN, visa exemptions for five Western European countries, greater participating at international tourism fairs, and the arrival of foreign tourism delegations.
Vietnam wants to make tourism a key economic sector by 2020 that creates a driving force for the development of other sectors. The country expects to attract 17 to 20 million foreign visitors and 82 million domestic ones by then.
Visitors are expected to spend US$35 billion in the country in 2020, on-the-spot exports through tourism are expected to reach $20 billion and the sector is hoped to create jobs for four million people including 1.6 million direct jobs. Such ambitious goals are part of a Politburo resolution on developing tourism into a key economic sector, issued early this year.
According to Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of National Administration of Tourism, told a workshop on restructuring Việt Nam’s tourism sector yesterday that the resolution created motivation for the sector’s development and it also helped change public awareness about tourism – as not a single sector but a collective one relating to other sectors. He said that last year, Vietnam welcomed 10 million foreign visitors and the World Tourism Organisation ranked it in top ten countries with highest tourism growth globally.