|Foreign visitors at a tourism fair held in the Hoàn Kiếm Lake area in downtown Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam welcomed more than 1.44 million international arrivals in the first eight months of 2022, a 13.7-fold rise from a year earlier when border lockdown was still in effect, thanks to the reopening to foreign tourists and the resumption of international air routes.
However, the figure still nosedived 87.3 per cent compared to the same period of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said in the eight-month data report.
Of the international arrivals, 88.2 per cent came to Việt Nam by air, up 18.5 times, while 11.8 per cent by road and 0.03 per cent by sea.
Asian visitors made up the majority with nearly 997,000 arrivals, accounting for 69.18 per cent of the total in the eight months. Notably, South Korean visitors surged 17.61-fold yearly, making this Northeast Asian country the biggest source of international arrivals in Việt Nam.
South Korea was followed by the United States with 139,000 arrivals, Cambodia (82,000), Japan (71,000), and Singapore (67,000), with China, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Taiwan (China) rounding out the top 10.
There were 208,000 arrivals and 165,300 from Europe and North America, up 22.4 times and 47.6 times compared to the same period last year.
65,700 visitors in the first eight months were from Oceania, up 79 times year-on-year, while there were 5,000 visitors from African nations.
The GSO noted in August alone, international arrivals numbered 486,400, increasing 38 per cent from July and 52.3-fold year on year.
The eight-month tourism revenue is estimated at VNĐ15.4 trillion (US$657.4 million), 3.4 times as high as in the same period last year, due to solid tourism recovery, especially domestic tourism. But the takings are equivalent to just 47.7 per cent of the figure in the same period of 2019.
Việt Nam still targets welcoming 5 million international arrivals in 2022. However, the peak international arrivals season is in the latter months instead of in the summertime for domestic tourism.
The country has fully reopened to international tourism, with pre-pandemic visa procedures reinstated, no requirements of COVID-19 vaccination/recovery proofs, mandatory quarantine, or health declaration.
As per the strategy of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, in the short term, the tourism industry needs to capitalise on the markets that have reopened, allowing citizens to travel abroad and overseas Vietnamese returning home after the pandemic.
In particular, the focus should be on markets like South Korea, Japan, Western Europe, Australia, and ASEAN, with attention on potential new markets such as India, the United States, and the Middle East. — VNS