Vietnam welcomes 15 millionth foreign tourist in a year for the first time

By Kieu Duong    December 22, 2018 | 01:00 pm GMT+7

At 10.30 a.m on December 19 American James Copernicus became the 15 millionth foreigner to arrive in Vietnam this year.

It was the first time ever the country received 15 million foreign visitors after welcoming 14 million last year.

Copernicus arrived along with 2,000 other passengers by Celebrity Millennium owned by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, one of the world’s top luxury cruise ships, in Ha Long Bay, northern Quang Ninh Province.

A traditional music performance to welcome the ship which docks at Ha Long tourist port. 

A traditional music performance to welcome the ship when it docked at the Halong International Passenger Terminal. 

When the ship docked, the first guests, including the captain and crew, were welcomed with conical hats and garlands.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien and Quang Ninh's Chairman Nguyen Duc Long were also present at the reception.

Copernicus, who is from Arizona, said he was very touched by the welcome and felt "very lucky" to become the 15 millionth tourist to a country which was much more beautiful than he had imagined.

James Copernicus is the 15 millionth foreigner to arrive in Vietnam this year.

James Copernicus is the 15 millionth foreigner to arrive in Vietnam this year.

2018 is also the National Tourism Year - Halong - Quang Ninh, and Quang Ninh Province has reported impressive tourist numbers. According to its Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in 2018 the province welcomed an estimated 12.2 million visitors, up 24 percent from last year. Of this, 5.22 million are foreign arrivals. Revenues from tourism are expected to top VND23.6 trillion ($1.02 billion), a 32 percent increase.

Contributing to the tourism growth is Quang Ninh’s modern sea, air and road infrastructure in the form of, among others, the Haiphong-Halong Expressway, the Halong International Passenger Terminal and the newly-opened Van Don International Airport.

In late November, a five-star cruiser with more than 3,000 passengers and crew members on board successfully moored at the Halong International Passenger Terminal in Halong city.

Built under the public-private partnership (PPP) format by the Sun Group and Quang Ninh Province, the Halong International Passenger Terminal is Vietnam’s first specialized such facility.

The project includes a quay, a marina, a passenger terminal, and an administrative building. The 524m quay can simultaneously receive two cruise ships, each with the capacity of up to 225,000GRT, and a total of 8,460 passengers and crew members.

A 2018 global report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization ranked Vietnam’s tourism growth as the fourth highest in the world.

 
 
go to top