Vietnam gets mere 3.6 million foreign tourists in 2022 despite early reopening

By Hoang Phong   December 28, 2022 | 11:22 pm PT
Vietnam gets mere 3.6 million foreign tourists in 2022 despite early reopening
Foreign tourists take photos in front of the St. Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi on Christmas's Eve, December 24 2022. Photo by Giang Huy
Vietnam has only received 3.6 million foreign tourists this year, or around 70% of its target.

It is equivalent to only 20% of arrivals in 2019 before the pandemic when Vietnam received a record number of 18 million visitors.

This year, at 2.59 million, Asia tourists accounted for over 70% of the total number, followed by Europe (508,000) and Americas (388,000).

Despite being one of the first Southeast Asian countries to reopen to international tourism, Vietnam remains far behind its neighbors in receiving tourists.

Thailand, Southeast Asia’s second largest economy, had welcomed 10.9 million visitors as of December 20 while Singapore received 5.37 million as of November.

Malaysia and Indonesia have achieved their targets for the year.

Amid the gloomy outlook, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung called for extending visa-free stays for foreign tourists to 30 days and granting e-visas to citizens of all countries and territories instead of only 80 as now.

Despite falling short of the target this year the tourism industry has set a goal of eight million foreign tourists next year, with China’s reopening kindling hope.

China has announced plans to lift travel restrictions from January 8.

It was Vietnam's biggest source of tourist arrivals until the pandemic hit, with nearly 5.8 million Chinese visiting in 2019.

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