India, Cambodia are Vietnam's fastest growing tourism markets

By Hoang Phong   January 1, 2024 | 03:19 pm PT
India, Cambodia are Vietnam's fastest growing tourism markets
A group of Indian tourists at a five-star resort in Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam, February 2023. Photo courtesy of the resort
India is now Vietnam's fastest growing tourism market with the number of visitors last year from that country increasing by 231% from 2019, the year before Covid broke out.

It was followed by Cambodia (176%), Laos (122%), Singapore (106%), and Australia (102%), data from the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism shows.

Vietnamese carriers in 2023 raced to start new direct services to Vietnam's major tourist destinations from Indian cities to tap into the world's most populous market.

Data from Google's "Year in Search 2023" report showed Vietnam was the most searched tourist destination by Indians last year.

With Thailand and Malaysia already waiving visas for Indian tourists, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung urged the government to do the same to compete with them.

Southeast Asia has also become a bright spot for Vietnam’s inbound tourism market.

The visa-free stay of 30 days for nationals of ASEAN member countries and the plethora of direct flights to Vietnamese cities from Southeast Asia have been credited for rapid growth, insiders said.

Australians are also increasingly traveling to Vietnam thanks to low airfares and a number of new direct flights from their country to Hanoi and HCMC.

Data from flight ticket sales website Skycanner showed Ho Chi Minh City was one of 10 most searched destinations by Australians last year after increasing by 246%.

Tourist numbers from Indonesia recovered to 99% of pre-pandemic levels while Thailand and U.S. had a recovery rate of 96%, according to the tourism authority.

Numbers from China, which used to be the highest before the pandemic, were at only 30%.

Vietnam received 12.6 million foreign visitors in 2023, around 70% of the pre-pandemic figure. The country targets to recover to the pre-pandemic levels this year.

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