VietNamNet Bridge – International tourist arrivals have risen to an all-time high with more than 7.57 million so far this year, up 10.6% over the same period in 2012 and even higher than the target set for 2015, according to the General Statistics Department.


Foreign visitors roam around Hoi An ancient town.




Of the huge visitor numbers, over 4.64 million came for tourism and leisure purposes, growing 12.2% year-on-year, said the department. Meanwhile, the others came to do business and visit relatives. In particular, the number of international visitors coming to Vietnam by air amounted to over 5.98 million.

Regarding the markets, China is still the biggest visitor-generating market with more than 1.9 million travelers, leaping 33.5% from the same period last year.

Other large markets such as Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and Taiwan post either slight growth or decline against last year. For instance, the nation welcomed roughly 604,000 Japanese visitors, rising 4.8%, more than 478,000 South Korean travelers, surging 6.8%, but only some 432,000 American and 399,000 Taiwanese travelers, dipping 2.6% and 2.5% respectively.

Russia, an emerging market in recent years, is still the market with the most impressive growth, at up to 71.1% this year. The total number of Russian tourists amounted to over 298,000 in 2013, with most of them coming on chartered flights landing in Cam Ranh International Airport.

The local tourism industry targets around eight million foreign visitors next year, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reports. The tourism authority will carry out around 50 activities inside and outside the country to promote Vietnam’s tourism image, most of which will be fairs and promotions in traditional markets like Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan and larger ones such as the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe and India.

* In related news, the cold weather in the country’s northern region has recently increased the number of visitors rushing to the south. Several tourism companies therefore have offered tours to the Mekong Delta, HCMC and Phu Quoc or have cooperated with northern partners to serve such local customers.

At Saigontourist Travel Service Company, up to five groups with 130 members in northern provinces bought tours to HCMC, Vung Tau, Binh Chau and Con Dao from last month to this month.

“A majority of these clients are the elderly. We still introduce tours to southern tourist attractions or combine them with a number of destinations having good weather in the central region to customers,” said Lam Thi Quynh Thu, deputy manager of marketing and public relations of Saigontourist.

A few enterprises, including Lien Bang Travel Link, offer fewer packaged tours but receive plenty of services from industry players in the northern region. “We have yet to develop direct sales in the northern region but some northern partners help us attract customers, with many clients choosing to go to the Mekong Delta,” Tu Quy Thanh, director of the firm, informed.

Source: SGT