Asia remained the largest source market for Vietnam’s tourism sector in the first half of 2019, making up 77.43% of total international arrivals in the country.
Asia not only generated large numbers of tourists to Vietnam, but it also had the highest growth rate, at 8.2%, in the first six months of 2019, according to the General Statistics Office. European arrivals in Vietnam grew by 5.5%, while those from the Americas had a growth rate of 5.2%.
Compared with the same period last year, the growth rate of Asia in the six-month period this year was lower as the number of visitors from China, Vietnam’s largest source market in Asia, fell by 3.3% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, tourist arrivals from the country’s second largest source market, South Korea, improved by a modest 21.3% against the 60.7% seen in the same period last year.
In its latest annual report on tourism growth in Vietnam, the World Bank noted that compared with developing countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam saw international travelers to the country reach record levels.
The country’s major source markets have not differed much over the past 10 years, but tourist arrivals from China and South Korea have skyrocketed.
In the 2015-2018 period, the growth in arrivals from the Chinese and South Korean source markets averaged 43%, while the growth rate of other markets was posted at 10%.
However, tourists from the two markets stayed in Vietnam no longer than those from Europe and America, resulting in lower spending on tourism services.
Tourists typically stayed for an average of 10.2 days in 2017, down from 11.3 days in 2013, and had unchanged spending at US$96 per day.
Statistics from the General Statistics Office show that Vietnam’s seven largest source markets in the first six months this year were China with 2.48 million visitors, South Korea with two million, Japan with over 455,000, Taiwan with 430,000, Malaysia with 298,000, Thailand with 245,000 and Singapore with 144,000. Of these, Thailand had the highest growth rate of tourist arrivals in Vietnam, at 45.4%.
Apart from introducing more tourism promotion activities in major source markets, the tourism sector will boost promotional programs in ASEAN countries and encourage travel firms and localities to host tourism promotion activities in these markets and build adequate tourism products to attract more ASEAN tourists, according to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
In related news, the tourism sector still performed well in the first half of this year and brought significant revenue to many localities.
HCMC is the largest tourist center of the country, welcoming 4.25 million international tourists in the six-month period of 2019, up 11% year-on-year. The city earned an estimated VND73 trillion in revenue from travel, hotel and restaurant services in the first six months of this year, up 16.6% year-on-year, according to the HCMC Department of Tourism.
Hanoi City took second place in terms of revenue from tourism services at VND50 trillion, welcoming 14.4 million visitors in the first half of this year, of which 3.3 million travelers came from foreign markets, according to the Hanoi Department of Tourism.
Ha Long Bay, recognized as a World Heritage Site, helped the northern province of Quang Ninh attract over 8.5 million local and international visitors over the past six months, up 14% against the year-ago period. The provincial Department of Tourism stated that the total revenue from tourism services in the province amounted to VND16 trillion in the first half of this year, up 25% year-on-year.
The northern upland province of Lao Cai was also listed among tourism centers earning significant revenue from the tourism sector. The province saw its total tourism revenue reach an estimated VND11.2 trillion in the first six months of 2019.
Data from the Danang Statistics Office shows that the total revenue from three segments, lodging, catering and travel services, in Danang City amounted to over VND11 trillion over the past six months, up 10.5% year-on-year.
There were some 3.4 million tourists coming to Khanh Hoa Province over the first half of this year, up 11% year-on-year. The province earned over VND11 trillion in revenue from the tourism industry during the period, up 12% against the year-ago period, according to the Khanh Hoa Department of Tourism.
Besides this, the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang earned VND8.7 trillion and VND4.3 trillion in tourism revenue, respectively, in the six-month period. The majority of the revenue the latter earned came from Phu Quoc Island, which generated over VND3.8 trillion in tourism revenue and welcomed 2.26 million visitors in the first six months of this year.
In recent years, the demand for travelling abroad among Vietnamese people has increased dramatically. Surveys on Vietnamese tourism trends indicate that foreign travel is becoming more and more popular.
There are signs showing a decline in number of travelers from South Korea, the biggest market for Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang, the two tourism centers of the central region.
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