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Vietnam on track to lure almost 13 million foreign visitors this year

By Vy An   December 4, 2017 | 11:03 am GMT+7
Vietnam on track to lure almost 13 million foreign visitors this year
Foreign tourists in Hoi An Town, one of the top destinations in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An

The record all-time high of 10 million tourists has already been smashed.

Vietnam is on track to receive as many as 12.8 million foreign tourists this year, a rise of 28 percent against 2016, having already broken the record of more than 10 million with still one month to go until the year-end.

Official data from the General Statistics Office show more than 11.6 million foreign tourists arrived in Vietnam between January and November this year, up 28 percent against the same period last year.

Most of the visitors were Chinese, making up 30 percent, followed by South Koreans with 18 percent.

In terms of growth, it was South Korea that took the lead, with the number of its tourists rising 55 percent, while Chinese visitors expanded by 44 percent and Russians by 34.8 percent.

Last year, foreign visitors surged 26 percent from the previous year, reaching an unexpected all-time high of 10 million.

In 2015, Vietnam received 7.9 million tourists and forecast just 8.5 million for 2016.

A  report published in June by the United Nations World Tourism Organization ranked Vietnam’s tourism growth at seventh globally, and the country was the only destination in Southeast Asia to crack the top 10.

The results appear to bode well for Vietnam’s growth, especially now that the government is backing tourism to drive its economy.

The country needs to stop relying on crude oil and focus on tourism to ensure its economic growth, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said at a meeting of the legislative National Assembly in October.

The deputy PM said that tourism has a direct impact on the service sector, so more tourists means higher growth.

“It is better to welcome 1 million tourists than trying to find 1 million tons of crude oil because tourism is more eco-friendly and safe for the economy,” he said.