Hanoi expects record 4 million foreign tourists this year

By VnExpress   November 10, 2016 | 07:41 pm PT
Hanoi expects record 4 million foreign tourists this year
Foreigners at a music festival in Hanoi in November. Photo by VnExpress/Xavier Bourgois
The city attracted more than 18 million visitors including 3.2 million foreigners in January-October.

After its strong performance in first 10 months, Hanoi now expects foreign arrivals to increase 22.6 percent from 2015 to four million this year.

Hanoi’s Tourism Department said the city attracted nearly 3.2 million foreign tourists in the first 10 months, up 23 percent from a year ago.

Asian tourists from China, Japan and South Korea topped the list of arrivals, followed by travelers from Australia, Germany, France and the U.S.

Tourism revenue in the first ten months reached VND50.7 trillion ($2.27 million), thanks also to more spending from 14.8 million Vietnamese tourists.

The industry is projected to earn $2.8 billion from tourism, up 13 percent from 2015.

Hanoi was among 20 fastest-growing tourist cities, with an average annual growth rate of 11.64 percent in foreign arrivals between 2009 and 2015, according to a MasterCard survey in September.

The city has been making various efforts to attract more visitors. It opened a pedestrian-only zone around the iconic Sword Lake in September and lifted the midnight curfew for bars and restaurants during weekend nights in August.

Hanoi's tourism department partnered with tour operator Vietnamtourism to launch a free tour through craft and guild streets in the historic Old Quarter in October. It also opened a tourist support center in Hoan Kiem District.

Last year, Lonely Planet named the Old Quarter among the places to see at least once in a lifetime, while the visual social network Pinterest ranked the capital city the third most-pinned location of all time.

TripAdvisor has also named Hanoi the best value destination for the past three years.

Vietnam received more than eight million tourists in the first 10 months, up 25.4 percent year-on-year, with its visa waiver policy for some key markets believed to be a major reason.

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