Despite a slight fall in December, the number of inbound tourists to Vietnam reached an all-time high of 18 million in 2019, meeting the target and up 16.2% year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office.
The number of foreign visitors to Vietnam in December reached 1.7 million, down 5.5% inter-monthly but up 24.4% year-on-year. Of them, those traveling to Vietnam by air accounted for 80.2%.
In Jan-December, the total revenue garnered from inbound tourists to Vietnam was VND720 trillion (US$31 billion), up 16% year-on-year.
In 2019, Vietnam has witnessed the strong growth in the inbound market, especially Thailand as the number of visitors from the country to Vietnam increased by 45.9% year-on-year.
Vietnam welcomed 14.4 million guests from Asia, accounting for 79.9% of the total and up 19.1% year-on-year. The number of arrivals from Taiwan (China), South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, China also grew from 16.9% to 29.8%, while those from Hong Kong and Laos plunged. China has remained Vietnam’s largest tourist source with 5.8 million arrivals.
Statistics also show growing trends of arrivals from Europe and America as arrivals from Europe were 2.2 million, up 6.4% year-on-year, and the number of American holidaymakers visiting the country amounted to 973,800 up 7.7% year-on-year.
Those from Australia were 432,400, down 1.2% year-on-year while the figure for Africa was 48,000, up 12.2%.
Overall, this year is an eventful year for Vietnam’s tourism as the country earned a bucket of global prizes including the World’s Leading Heritage Destination, World’s Best Golf Destination, Asia’ Leading Destination in two consecutive years and Asia’s Leading Culinary Destination, among others.
Although the number of international arrivals to Vietnam is on the rise, tourism experts said the revenue generated from inbound tourism has not been commensurate to the tourism potential due to several causes including unattractive tourism products and poor entertainment activities.
At the Vietnam Travel and Tourism Summit 2019 in early December, some tourism experts agreed that five notable issues that Vietnam needs to solve for a better tourism environment include diversifying tourism products, improving infrastructure, developing environmental-friendly tourism, enhancing manpower capabilities, and speeding up information technology application.