Foreign visitors in March down against February but up in Q1, GSO reports.
The number of international visitors arriving in Vietnam in March was estimated at around 1 million, down 16.1 per cent against February but up 21.1 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Vietnam welcomed nearly 3.2 million foreign arrivals in the first quarter, a 29 per cent increase quarter-on-quarter.
Those arriving by air stood at more than 2.6 million, up 32.5 per cent year-on-year, by land 469,000 and by sea 112,000, up 7.6 per cent and 66.2 per cent, respectively.
By region, Asian arrivals accounted for more than 71 per cent of all foreign visitors in the first quarter, an increase of 34.4 per cent.
US visitors rose 10.8 per cent and European visitors 23.6 per cent and accounted for 7.7 per cent and 17.4 per cent of the total.
The number of Chinese visitors continued to rise significantly, reaching 949,000, up 63.5 per cent year-on-year and accounting for 30 per cent of the total.
South Korea followed, with 527,000 arrivals, up 29 per cent, then Japan with 201,000, up 4.8 per cent.
Hoping to give the tourism industry a major push, the Vietnamese Government has launched a much-touted online visa system for travelers on short holidays or business visits.
Tourism authorities are eyeing a 15 per cent increase in international visitors this year. The sector is expected to contribute 10 per cent to Vietnam’s GDP and become a key economic driver by 2020. By that time the country is expected to welcome up to 20 million foreign visitors and earn $35 billion in tourism revenue.