Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — International arrivals to Việt Nam reached more than 4.7 million in the first half of 2016, a year-on-year increase of 21.3 per cent.
The figure for June was 700,446, down 7.5 per cent from the previous month but up 29.8 per cent from one year ago.
Foreign arrivals by air reached over 3.92 million, up 26 per cent year-on-year while arrivals by road saw a yearly rise of 31.3 per cent to 710,000. However, arrivals by sea declined 27.8 per cent to 75,000.
The number of tourists visiting Việt Nam from several Asian countries and territories saw strong growth: mainland China, up 48 per cent; Thailand, up 35 per cent; South Korea, up 34 per cent; Hong Kong, up 28 per cent and Laos, up 21 per cent.
Growth was also recorded in the number of tourists from Italy, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, as well as Russia, Germany and France.
According to the General Statistics Office, the local tourism sector also served some 32.4 million domestic travellers in the six-month period. Total revenue for the period was estimated at VNĐ200.3 trillion (US$9.1 billion), up 22.1 per cent year-on-year.
This year, Việt Nam has set a goal of 8.5 million foreign and 60 million domestic travellers, which is expected to bring in VNĐ370 trillion for the sector. Việt Nam is considered one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in Southeast Asia, driven by the entrance of international hoteliers, an improved visa policy and investment in key infrastructure.
Concern in Thailand
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is concerned that Việt Nam, a rising star in ASEAN, will draw more South Korean tourists away from the Kingdom, The Bangkokpost reports.
South Korea is a top-five East Asian tourist market for Thailand, while Thai tourists are ranked fourth among outbound tourists to South Korea.
In 2015, South Korean tourist arrivals to Thailand grew 22 per cent to 1.37 million, while Việt Nam welcomed 114,740 South Korean travellers, a surge of 131 per cent.
Siriges-a-nong Trirattanasongpol, director of the TAT’s Seoul office, said the average hotel room rate in Việt Nam was higher than in Thailand because of limited supply.
“Việt Nam will be Thailand’s key rival for the South Korean tourist market in the next five years. Its tourism infrastructure is developing so fast, its products are fresh and tourist safety is good. Moreover, Việt Nam is an investment destination for South Koreans," she told The Bangkokpost. – VNS