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.

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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%)