Vietnam to lead Asia-Pacific in foreign arrivals over next five years

By Nguyen Quy   March 11, 2019 | 01:22 am PT
Vietnam to lead Asia-Pacific in foreign arrivals over next five years
Foreign tourists take a boat tour in Ngo Dong river, the northern province of Ninh Binh. Photo by Shutterstock/Trananhuy
A new report says Vietnam is likely to lead the Asia-Pacific region in attracting international visitors from 2019-2023.

Based on the average annual growth rate of foreign arrivals, Vietnam, Laos and Papua New Guinea are expected to become the leading travel destinations in the next five years, according to the latest Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019 - 2023 report released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Vietnam, known for its beautiful beaches, mountains, rice terraces, world heritage sites and low cost of living, is estimated to see the growth rate of foreign arrivals go up to 14 percent between 2019 and 2023, followed by Laos and Papua New Guinea at 12.7 and 12.3 percent respectively.

According to the report, the proportion of foreign visitors to the Asia Pacific region in the next 5 years will increase around 5.5 percent annually.

This year, Vietnam is on track to welcome 18 million foreign tourist arrivals, up 15.7 percent from last year and the figure could amount to 30 million in 2030, the report says.

Data from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reveals that 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.

These figures are particularly encouraging, given that the Vietnamese government has identified the tourism sector as a growth driver.

It has launched an online visa system for travelers on short holidays or casual business trips.

Vietnam 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.

Vietnam plans to receive up to 20 million foreign visitors by 2020, earning $35 billion in tourism revenues, contributing 10 percent to the country’s GDP.

According to Mastercard, Vietnam has the second fastest growing outbound market in the Asia Pacific region, after Myanmar, with projected annual growth of 9.5 percent between 2016 and 2021.

In the APAC Travel Trends Report 2018, Scotland-based Skyscanner has also named Vietnam as a new top destination among Asian Pacific (APAC) travelers.

A report published last year by the United Nations World Tourism Organization ranked Vietnam’s tourism growth the fourth highest in the world.

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