Agoda CEO Reports Vietnam Tourism Increasing at a Faster Rate than Thailand and Japan

In the first five months of 2023, Vietnam saw a growth in its share of inbound tourism, ranking third among Asian countries behind Japan and Thailand.

Vietnam Tourism Growing Faster Than in Thailand, Japan: Agoda CEO
Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh) (Photo: Getty Image).

Online travel company Agoda sees tourism in Vietnam growing faster than in Thailand, but the kingdom could maintain its edge by removing visa friction, opening more flight routes and creating business reasons for travel, according to Nikkei Asia.

Vietnam grew its share of inbound travel in the first five months of 2023, coming in third behind Japan and Thailand among Asian destinations. It jumped from fifth place in 2019, the last year of pre-pandemic travel. Thailand topped Agoda’s list in 2022, but was quickly overtaken by Japan, which reopened its borders in October.

Thailand has welcomed over 11 million visitors this year, already surpassing 2022. With inbound, outbound and domestic travel recovered, Thailand’s task is to sustainably grow its tourism industry, which in 2019 accounted for about a fifth of gross domestic product.

“Thailand will always be a great vacation destination… but can you develop more reasons for people to come here?” said Agoda CEO Omri Morgenshtern, as cited by Nikkei Asia.

Morgenshtern told reporters that while the Republic of Korea (RoK) has sent the biggest group of inbound travelers to Thailand, more Koreans are traveling to Japan and Vietnam. He attributed this to Korean factories that opened in Vietnam in the past two decades, establishing a community of expatriates who spread word about Vietnam back home.

Vietnam becomes seventh most searched country worldwide

Cau Vang (Golden Bridge) in Da Nang
Cau Vang (Golden Bridge) in Da Nang. Photo: VOV

The volume of international searches for Vietnamese tourism soared by 10% to 25% during the period from early March to June, making it the seventh highest growth rate worldwide, according to a report released by the Google Destination Insights.

The top countries on the list were Turkey, Greece, Croatia, India, Italy, Spain, Vietnam, the United States, Japan, and the UK, VOV reported.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam was the only nation to feature among the top group in the world, while other regional countries were ranked quite far behind, with Thailand in 15th place, Indonesia in 16th, Malaysia in 18th, the Philippines in 20th, and Singapore in 26th.

The main searches for details about Vietnamese tourism come from the US, Japan, Australia, Singapore, India, Thailand, France, Germany, the UK, and the RoK.

Furthermore, the 10 most searched Vietnamese destinations were Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, the central city of Da Nang, Phu Quoc Island in the southern province of Kien Giang, Hoi An City in the central province of Quang Nam, and Nha Trang in the southcentral province of Khanh Hoa./.

Foreign visitors to Hoi An city, a famous destination in the central province of Quang Nam (Photo: VNA)
Foreign visitors to Hoi An city, a famous destination in the central province of Quang Nam. Photo: VNA

Vietnam has welcomed nearly 4.6 million international arrivals in the first five months of 2023, soaring 12.6-fold from the same period last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said on May 29.

Of the international arrivals, 88% came to the country by air, 10.9% by road, and 1.1% by sea.

Revenue from tourism services went up 89.4% while earnings from accommodation and restaurant services rose 22.1%, the GSO said, attributing the increases partly to many holidays during the five months.

Rosy Huong