9 million and counting: Foreign tourists to Vietnam hit record high

By VnExpress   November 28, 2016 | 10:04 am GMT+7

Arrivals in the first 11 months have beat the full-year target.

The number of foreign visitors to Vietnam is well on track to top nine million in the first 11 months, up 25.4 percent from a year ago and already surpassing the full-year 8.5 million target for 2016.

According to the General Statistics Office, foreign arrivals to Vietnam in November are estimated to reach more than 926,000, up 14 percent from last month and 25 percent from last year.

9-million-and-counting-foreign-tourists-to-vietnam-hit-record-high

Foreign tourists enjoy a cyclo tour in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam

China remained the biggest source of visitors with nearly 2.5 million traveling to Vietnam so far this year, up 54 percent.

The second biggest market, South Korea, saw a 39.2 percent increase to nearly 1.4 million. It was followed by Japan, up 10.5 percent to nearly 680,000 and the U.S., up 13.4 percent to more than 500,000.

Japanese and South Korean visitors can stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa. Other markets that benefit from the same policy -- Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. -- recorded increases of up to 29 percent.

New Zealand was among some of the fastest growing markets by expanding 35.4 percent to nearly 40,000 this year to date. Air New Zealand launched a non-stop service between Ho Chi Minh City and Auckland in June.

Vietnam also reported tourism revenue of VND368.6 trillion ($16.2 billion) in the first 11 months, up 18.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the statistics office.

The country now expects the total number of foreign tourists for 2016 to go up by more than 22 percent from last year, to 9.7 million, with tourism revenue of VND400 trillion ($17.58 billion).

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