|Foreign tourists experience the night life on Bui Vien walking street, Ho Chi Minh City__Photo: VNA|
Vietnam has welcomed 8.9 million international visitors in the first nine months of 2023, exceeding the target of eight million for the whole year.
The target was set by tourism authorities early in the year, before China - from which the visitors accounted for about one-third of the total international visitors to Vietnam in 2019 - announced its decision to reopen following stringent COVID-19-related border closures.
The figure was less than half the number of international arrivals to Vietnam before the pandemic broke out which was 18 million.
There have been calls for revision of the target since the new, more open visa policies were introduced and the number of arrivals started to reach the amount set, especially when the peak for international tourist arrivals in Vietnam is between October-March (contrary to peak domestic season in summer months).
Vu The Binh, chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association, said Vietnam could raise the target for 2023 to about 10-12 million tourists instead and this is achievable.
The nine-month number of visitors was 4.7 times higher than the same period last year, but only equal to 69 percent the figure seen in the same period of 2019, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.
In September alone, the country welcomed more than one million foreign visitors, down 13.4 per cent month-on-month.
Out of the 8.9 million tourists, 7.8 million arrived in Vietnam by air (87.5 percent), one million by road (11.8 percent), and 64,000 by sea (0.7 percent).
The majority of the arrivals were from Asia (6.85 million), followed by Europe (1.015 million), Americas (682,800), Oceania (311,100), and Africa (20,400).
Revenue from accommodation and catering services in this period rose by 16 per cent, and earnings from travel and tourism services increased 47.7 percent year-on-year.
Australia’s Micenet Magazine recently assessed the central region of Vietnam as a new 'hot spot' for MICE tourism.
In its article, the magazine wrote: “Central Vietnam is coming into its own as more international and domestic flights serve Da Nang city, which is growing as a destination for conferences, meetings and incentive events. Its location between two UNESCO world heritage sites - Hoi An, 30km southeast, and Hue, 100km northwest - also helps”.
There is a wide choice of luxury and five-star international and local brand hotels in the city and along a 60km stretch of beach, it added.- (VNS/VLLF)