Vietnam’s tourism sector needs to attract an average of 1.15 million international tourists a month in the rest of the year to translate the 13-million-foreign-arrival target for all of 2017 into reality.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), over 7.24 million international tourists have come to the country in the year to date, increasing 28.8% compared to the same period last year.
The growth of tourists from key source markets like China, South Korea and Russia has remained strong. Since early this year, Vietnam has welcomed over 2.2 million Chinese, 1.25 million South Koreans and 348,000 Russians, up 51%, 46.8% and 49.3% respectively.
Data of VNAT shows that from January to April 2017, monthly international arrivals to Vietnam reached over one million while there were over 900,000 foreigners visiting Vietnam in each of May, June and July on average.
“The target to have three million more international arrivals this year proves to be hard, but we will do whatever it takes to achieve the target,” said Nguyen Van Tuan, head of VNAT at a conference on tourism in HCMC last week.
According to Tuan, Vietnam will focus on luring tourists from neighboring countries which have large populations and promote tourism in distant countries, especially some European countries for which Vietnam offers a visa waiver.
VNAT will work with localities having border gates and key tourist sites like Quang Ninh, Lao Cai, Hanoi, Danang, HCMC and Kien Giang to discuss ways to boost tourism development.
According to travel firms, tourist arrivals via border gates have grown significantly. In particular, there were nearly 590,000 tourists from Guangxi, a Chinese province sharing a border with the Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh, coming to Vietnam last year.
According to Tuan, the country posted total tourism revenue of VND400 trillion (US$17.6 billion) last year and the number in the first half of 2017 reached VND255 trillion. Tourism revenues and tourist arrivals were beyond expectations.
Tourism revenues even doubled the target set by the tourism development strategy until 2020 with a vision towards 2030 approved in 2011 by the Government.