|Local and foreign travellers play at the Yang Bay Waterfall in the central province of Khanh Hoa. More than 593,000 international visitors arrived in Viet Nam in July, a rise of 5.1 per cent year-on-year. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — More than 593,000 international visitors arrived in Viet Nam in July, a rise of 5.1 per cent year-on-year and 12.1 per cent month-on-month, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Despite this month's positive figure, the number of foreign holidaymakers still dropped 9.4 per cent to an estimated 4.39 million in the first seven months of the year, GSO said.
During the review period, visitors from Cambodia fell by 43.9 per cent. This was followed by Laos with 36.1 per cent; Thailand (31.2 per cent); mainland China (24.4 per cent) and Hong Kong (14.7 per cent).
A higher number of tourists arrived from South Korea (up 35.5 per cent); Finland (15.8 per cent); Singapore (13.4 per cent); Spain (6.4 per cent) and Italy (5.7 per cent).
The Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism has granted visa exemptions for travellers from Belarus and five western European countries of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain since this month.
According to VNAT Director Nguyen Van Tuan, Belarus citizens are offered visa-free entry for five years and travellers from the other European countries are given exemptions for one year.
Tuan said that annually, some 700,000 western Europe nationals visited Viet Nam.
The figures were short of the potential, Tuan said, adding that the visa exemption was expected to lure more tourists from the countries to Viet Nam.
The administration is hoping these moves will attract an extra 1.1 million arrivals from five western European countries in the next three years, up 50 per cent from 2015. — VNS