Foreign tourist arrivals in Vietnam skyrocket in Q1

By Hoang Phong    March 28, 2023 | 10:01 pm PT
Foreign tourist arrivals in Vietnam skyrocket in Q1
A foreign tourist rides a bicycle in Hoi An Town, central Vietnam, January 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Phuong
The number of foreign arrivals in Vietnam in the first quarter of this year grew by 30 times year-on-year to 2.7 million.

The first quarter figures were around 60% of pre-pandemic levels and one-third of this year's 8-million target, according to a report released by the General Statistics Office (GSO) on Wednesday. The number is less than half of Thailand's 6.15 million arrivals.

Arrivals from Asian countries to Vietnam surged 33 times year-on-year to 1.93 million, accounting for over half of total foreign arrivals in the first three months of this year, according to the GSO report.

Tourists from Europe increased by 23 times to 385,000.

Following repeated calls from industry insiders to relax immigration policies, the government announced it will ask the National Assembly, Vietnam's highest legislative body, to resume the three-month visa policy for foreigners entering Vietnam.

The National Assembly's next meeting is in May.

At present, the country only offers a one-month, single-entry e-visa to visitors from 80 countries.

Despite being one of the first Southeast Asian countries to fully reopen to international tourism post Covid, Vietnam received only 3.6 million foreign tourists last year, around 20% of the pre-pandemic figure.

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