Number of International Tourists Increases During First Half of 2023

Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, has suggested that there is a strong possibility that Vietnam will exceed its target of welcoming 8 million international visitors in 2019.

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In June 2023, Vietnam reported a 6.4% increase in international arrivals compared to May, welcoming a total of 975,000 visitors. For the first half of the year, Vietnam welcomed approximately 5.57 million international arrivals, accounting for about 69% of the estimated number of arrivals for 2023 and equal to about 66% of the same period in 2019. Combined with 64 million domestic tourists, Vietnam’s total tourism revenue in the first half of 2023 is estimated at VND 343.1 trillion (about US $14.4 billion).

Ho Chi Minh City earned the highest tourism revenue

International Tourism Experiences Steady Growth in First Half of 2023
Korean visitors stroll at Ho Chi Minh City Book Street. Photo: VNA

In terms of tourism revenues by localities, many cities and provinces in Vietnam earned record-breaking numbers, with over VND 10.000 billion. Ho Chi Minh City was the highest earner, reaching VND 80,833 billion. The city saw a 48% increase in domestic visitors and a 306% increase in international visitors compared to the same period in 2022. The total revenue increased by 62.7%.

Hanoi ranked second with a revenue of VND 44,880 billion. In the first 6 months of 2023, Hanoi welcomed 12.33 million tourists, an increase of 42% compared to the same period in 2022. International tourists accounted for 2.03 million arrivals, a sevenfold increase, while domestic tourists reached 10.3 million arrivals, up 22.6%.

Other notable destinations on the list of highest tourism revenues are Quang Ninh (VND 16,660 billion), Thanh Hoa (VND 15 billion), and Khanh Hoa (VND 12,567 billion).

North Asian Tourist in top 5 international inbounds

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism announced the top 10 markets of international visitors to Vietnam in the first half of 2023. South Korea continued to lead with more than 1.6 million arrivals, accounting for 28% of the total number of international visitors. The Chinese market ranked second (557,000), and the US ranked third (374,000). The US market experienced the best growth in June, with a 52% increase compared to May. Northeast Asian markets, including Korea, China, Taiwan (322,000), and Japan (241,000), accounted for the most international visitors. Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand (266,000), Malaysia (232,000), and Cambodia (198,000) also contributed to the international inbounds to Vietnam. Australia ranked 9th with 185,000 visits, and India ranked 10th. In the European market, the countries with the most visitors to Vietnam are the UK, France, and Germany. The Russian tourist market reached 62,000 arrivals in the first six months of the year, equaling 17% before the pandemic.

Vietnam is the most-searched Southeast Asia destination in 2023

International Tourism Experiences Steady Growth in First Half of 2023
A scene on the Hoai River, Hoi An in the movie “A Tourist’s Guide to Love” (Photo: Netflix).

Earlier this year, 103 Vietnamese restaurants and eateries were honored by the Michelin Guide, including 4 restaurants with 1 Michelin star. Vietnam was also selected by The Travel, a Canadian travel site, as one of the top 10 most affordable countries to work remotely worldwide. According to data from Google’s Destination Insights travel trend tracker, Vietnam’s tourism searches have continuously grown, making it the most-searched destination in Southeast Asia.

Furthermore, the newly-approved visa policy, which extends the visa duration from 30 to 90 days and the temporary stay period at the border gate from 15 to 45 days, is expected to promote the development of the tourism industry in the second half of this year. The extension aims to attract more long-stay visitors to Vietnam.

Zoey Nguyễn