THE NUMBER of international visitors to Vietnam in the first four months of this year was estimated at 4.28 million, representing a year-on-year surge of 30.3 per cent.
Arrivals by air reached 3.5 million passengers, an increase of 32.6 per cent against the same period last year, while 610,000 others travelled by road (up 11.1 per cent) and the rest arrived by sea (up 77.6 per cent), the General Statistics Office of Vietnam reported.
Visitors from Asia hit 3.06 million, up 35.3 per cent year-on-year.
The agency reported an increase in tourist inflow from Asia’s key markets, with 1.27 million Chinese visitors, 701,000 Korean visitors and 261,000 Japanese visitors, up 61.1 per cent, 35.1 per cent and 6.6 per cent, respectively, against the same period last year.
During the reviewed period, Vietnam welcomed 747,000 European visitors, posting a year-on-year growth of 25.5 per cent, while the number of American tourists rose 11.1 per cent to 315,000, of which visitors from the United States reached 228,500, up 9.1 per cent.
In April, there were 1.07 million people visiting Vietnam, up 6.5 per cent over the previous month.
This is the fourth consecutive month since the beginning of the year that Vietnam has welcomed more than one million visitors.
In 2016, the number of foreign tourists to Vietnam broke a record by reaching over 10 million visitors, up 26 per cent year-on-year.
Domestic tourists reached 62 million, up 5.3 times compared with 2001. Total tourism revenue in 2016 reached 400 trillion dongs ($17.6 billion), accounting for 6.8 per cent of the country’s GDP.
Vietnam’s Political Bureau issued an important resolution on the orientation of tourism development to 2035. Accordingly, tourism has been identified as a spearhead economic sector, creating a driving force for socio-economic development.
Vietnam is expected to attract some 17 to 20 million international visitors and 82 million domestic visitors, contributing 10 per cent of the GDP by 2020. Total tourism revenue is forecast to reach $35 billion.
In addition, the country has set a target to become one of Southeast Asia’s leading travel destinations by 2030.