Vietnam among top 10 Asia-Pacific tourist destinations

By Nguyen Quy   October 16, 2019 | 12:51 am PT
Vietnam among top 10 Asia-Pacific tourist destinations
Foreign tourists ride bicycles through rice paddies in Hoi An ancient town, central Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/Andy Tran.
Vietnam is one of ten top Asia-Pacific tourist destinations and fourth in Southeast Asia after Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

As of the second quarter of 2019, Vietnam had welcomed 8.48 million foreign tourists, making it a top 10 destination for international arrivals in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report released Monday by the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA).

The Quarterly Tourism Monitor report said the U.S. was most visited country/territory in the region, followed by Hong Kong and Mexico. Macau and Thailand rounded out the top five while the rest of the top 10 included Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Canada.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam was fourth after Thailand (19.7 million), Malaysia (13.3 million) and Singapore (9.3 million).

The report also showed Vietnam’s tourism growth experienced a year-on-year surge of 7.5 percent, ranking 12nd in the Asia-Pacific region.

PATA’s statistics are based on the number of foreign visitors to 35 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region in the first six months of this year. Accordingly, the region, excluding the Chinese market, received more than 247 million international arrivals, up six percent year-on-year.

PATA earlier this year forecast that Vietnam is likely to lead the Asia-Pacific region in attracting international visitors from 2019-2023.

This year, Vietnam is on track to welcome 18 million foreign tourist arrivals as the government targets, up 15.7 percent from last year and the figure could go up to 30 million in 2030.

A female foreign tourist talks to a street vendor in the central beach town of Nha Trang. Photo by Shutterstock/An Nguyen.

A female foreign tourist talks to a street vendor in the central beach town of Nha Trang. Photo by Shutterstock/An Nguyen.

The number of international visitors to the country has risen continuously over the past three years, soaring from 10 million in 2016 to 15.6 million in 2018, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reported. 

Tourism last year contributed 8.39 percent to Vietnam’s GDP. The government seeks to make the industry an economic spearhead.

Vietnam has launched an online visa system for travelers on short holidays or casual business trips. It has also added 35 more countries, including emerging tourism markets in Europe, to the list of those whose nationals can visit the country with e-visas, raising the list of beneficiaries to 80. For the full list of eligible nationalities, click here.

In the first nine months of 2019, 12.9 million foreigners traveled to Vietnam, an increase of 10.8 percent year-on-year.

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