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Vietnam’s inbound tourism booms, surpassing pre-pandemic levels

Update: 08-05-2024 | 15:33:58

Vietnam's inbound tourism is experiencing a remarkable resurgence, exceeding pre-pandemic levels as of the late April, signaling a promising season for the sector.

Statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) showed that in April alone, the country welcomed nearly 1.6 million foreign arrivals, a 58.2% increase compared to the same period last year. This momentum propelled the total number of international arrivals in the first four months of this year to 6.2 million, representing a 68.3% annual growth. This figure surpassed that recorded during the pre-pandemic "golden era" of tourism.

The positive trend extended beyond visitor numbers. Revenue generated by accommodation and dining services was estimated at 237.3 trillion VND (9.88 billion USD), up 15.3% while tourism revenue grew by 49.3% year-on-year to 19.4 trillion VND.

Visitor number from Asia climbed by 77.2% while European arrivals surged by 63.8%. Notably, the Republic of Korea remained Vietnam's largest tourist market, contributing 1.6 million visitors, or 25.8% of the total. Other major markets like the US, Taiwan (China), and Japan also showed significant growth.

Arrivals from major markets like the UK soared by 35.2%, France 41.7%, Germany 36.9%, Italy 77.4%, Spain 48.5%, and Russia 74%.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City remained major tourist hubs, each welcoming around 1.4 million foreigners during the first four months. This represented a 40% and 32.4% annual increase, respectively.

VNAT Chairman Nguyen Trung Khanh attributed the success partly to the new visa policy effective in August 2023 which has been met with international acclaim and is considered a key factor in the growth of international arrivals.

The early-year surge has propelled the industry towards its goal of welcoming 17-18 million foreign visitors for the entire year, serving as a "lifebuoy" for the aviation industry which has been grappling with a decline in the domestic market.

The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) reported a surge of over 45% in foreign passengers passing through its airports. International cargo volume also saw a rise of nearly 7.6%, reaching some 14,000 tonnes.

Building on this momentum, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sun Group Dang Minh Truong proposed expanding unilateral visa exemption for citizens from developed countries like Australia, Canada, and the US, alongside selected European Union nations and some Middle Eastern countries.

He also suggested piloting short-term visa exemption ranging from 6 months to 1 year for tourists from promising markets like China, India, and Taiwan (China). These proposals aim to stimulate further tourism demand and solidify Vietnam's position as a premier tourist destination./.


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