Vietnam reaches major tourism milestone

6th Jan, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

VIERNAM, Jan 6 : Vietnam’s tourism industry reached a major milestone last year, as the country exceeded 10 million international visitor arrivals for the first time.


The 10 millionth visitor, UK national Michael Tonge, was welcomed at Phu Quoc International Airport on 25 December by Vietnam’s Minister of Culture, Sports & Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien.

The country rounded off a strong 2016 by welcoming almost 900,000 international visitors in December, boosting the full-year arrivals total to 10.01 million, 26.9% more than the 7.94m welcomed in 2015. Of this total, 8.26m visitors arrived by air, which marks a 31.7% year-on-year increase.

Vietnam’s tourism surge in 2016 was primarily driven by two key source markets: mainland China and South Korea. Chinese arrivals increased 51.4% to 2.70m while visitor numbers from South Korea jumped 38.7% to 1.54m. This meant that these two countries accounted for 42% of all international visitors to Vietnam in 2016.

But the majority of key source markets showed strong growth, including Japan (+10.3% to 740,592), the US (+12.5% to 552,644), Taiwan (+15.6% to 507,301) and Malaysia (+17.6% to 407,574).

Arrivals from Russia also rebounded strongly, surging 28.1% to 433,987 and confirming the country’s position as Vietnam’s largest European source market. The UK (+19.8% to 254,842) overtook France (+13.8% to 240,808) as the second biggest European market, helped by the launch of Vietnam Airlines’ direct flights to London. Arrivals from Australia increased at a comparatively slower rate of 5.6%, to 320,678 visitors.

Visitor arrivals to Vietnam have now increased 46% in the past five years. And this growth is expected to continue in the coming years, as Vietnam launches a new e-visa system for international travellers in February 2017.

The Growth of Arrivals to Vietnam:

2016:    10,012,735 (+26.0%)

2015:    7,943,651 (+0.9%)

2014:    7,874,312 (+4.0%)

2013:    7,572,352 (+10.6%)

2012:    6,847,678 (+13.9%)