|Young people visit Nguyễn Huệ Flower Street, a favourite attraction in HCM City, during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. VNS Photo Việt Dũng|
HCM CITY Việt Nam has welcomed 1.99 million international visitors in January, a year-over-year increase of 32.8 per cent, according to the General Statistics Office of Việt Nam.
Asia remained the largest source market, making up 77.4 per cent of the total number.
Asia also accounted for the highest growth, 39.9 per cent, followed by the Americas with 19 per cent, and Europe 11.5 per cent.
The tourist growth rate of Asian countries rose sharply, including China increasing by 72.6 per cent, Thailand 40.1 per cent, South Korea 20.1 per cent, and Japan 11.4 per cent.
According to experts, the number of international tourist arrivals in Việt Nam will fall in the near future because of the complex developments of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
Many tourism agencies have faced huge losses due to cancellation of tours from Việt Nam to China and vice versa.
HCM City attractions
HCM City’s favourite attractions in Tết (Lunar New Year) welcomed millions of local and foreign visitors during the holiday lasting from February 2-10.
Nguyễn Huệ Flower Street, the most popular attraction, attracted over 1 million visitors during seven-day opening from January 22-28.
The 720-metre flower street extends from the statue of President Hồ Chí Minh in front of the People’s Committee building to Tôn Đức Thắng Street.
It received praised from visitors with 130 models of rats made of different materials such as flowers, plastic, and wood to celebrate the Year of the Rat. It included 1.5 – 3m tall statues of a rat family inspired by the famous Đông Hồ folk painting "Rats’ Wedding" at the entrance.
More than 100 kinds of flowers like chrysanthemums, roses, orchids, azalea, lotus and cacti were used in the flower arrangements.
Tết Book Fair opened at the same period with the flower street and attracted more than 800,000 visitors. This year’s book fair had the theme of Điều Kỳ Diệu Từ Sách (Magical Things in Books) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event.
The fair was organised on three streets downtown: Mạc Thị Bưởi, Nguyễn Huệ and Ngô Đức Kế, showcasing 65,000 copies of books about literature, history, economy, politics, culture, science and technology.
The event’s highlight was exhibition “Sài Gòn – Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh Trong Cách Mạng Giải Phóng Dân Tộc (1930-1975) (Sài Gòn – HCM City in the Revolution of National Liberation), organised by the State Records and Archives Department of Việt Nam..
A replica of a DK1 rig was set up to give visitors a closer look and understanding of the rig, which is considered a “bulwark on the East Sea”.
The HCM City Pedestrian Book Street on Nguyễn Văn Bình Street welcomed more than 100,000 visitors during Tết.
The city’s annual biggest flower fair, Tao Đàn Spring Flower Festival, saw more than 1 million visitors this year. The fair displayed more than 4,000 indigenous and foreign flowers, ornamental fish, bonsai plants and trees. It opened between January 19 and 30 on Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai Street in District 1. — VNS