Foreign tourists visiting the ancient town of Hội An in the central province of Quảng Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Trịnh Bang Nhiệm
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam welcomed nearly 4.6 million international arrivals in the first five months of 2023, soaring 12.6-fold from the same period last year, according to the latest report from the General Statistics Office (GSO).
However, the number of foreign visitors in May fell 6.9 per cent from the previous month.
It should be noted that Việt Nam reopened its border and resumed international tourism activities from March 15, 2022.
The country aimed to receive five million foreign tourists in 2022, but only managed to draw in 3.66 million. Việt Nam set sight on eight million foreign tourists this year, but the target was made before China officially announced its reopening in early February and reallowed group tours to Việt Nam in mid-March.
Chinese tourists accounted for one-third of all international arrivals to Việt Nam in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
The tourist arrivals figure for the first five months of 2023 is still only 63 per cent of the 2019 figure.
Of the international arrivals in the first five months, 88 per cent came to the country by air, 10.9 per cent by road, and 1.1 per cent by sea.
Most tourists to Việt Nam in the first five months are from Asia (3.4 million), Europe (621,000), and America (396,000).
171,000 visitors are from Oceania and 10,500 are from Africa, according to the GSO.
Regarding key markets, South Korea continues to have the most visitors coming to Việt Nam with over 1.3 million arrivals, followed by China (nearly 399,000), the United States (over 307,000), and China’s Taiwan (nearly 252,000).
Rounding up the top 10 markets are Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Cambodia, Australia, and Singapore.
Revenue from tourism services went up 89.4 per cent while earnings from accommodation and restaurant services rose 22.1 per cent, the GSO said, attributing the increases partly to many holidays during the five months.
Recently, Vietnamese tourism has been featured by foreign media, helping enhance its attractiveness to international travellers.
Notably, Cát Bà Island of the northern port city of Hải Phòng was given second place among the 10 most spectacular beaches in Asia by Microsoft Travel, the northern province Ninh Bình was named among the world’s top 10 best hidden family vacation spots to visit in 2023 by Canada’s The Travel magazine, and the North-South, or Thống Nhất (Reunification), railway was listed as one of the world’s most amazing train journeys by the Australian version of renowned travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese fried spring rolls (known as “nem rán” in the northern region and “chả giò” in the southern region) and summer rolls (“gỏi cuốn”) are on the list of 50 most popular appetizers in the world compiled by international food magazine Taste Atlas.
In May, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính signed off the Government’s Resolution No. 82/NQ-CP on the main tasks and measures for accelerating effective and sustainable tourism recovery and development. It specified many measures for developing tourism into a key economic sector so as to turn Việt Nam into one of the 30 countries with the highest tourism competitiveness. — VNS