Foreign tourists on cyclo rides in the Old Quarter area of Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng

International arrivals to Việt Nam in December reached nearly 1.4 million people, an increase of 11.2 per cent compared to the previous month and a 93.9 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the year-end report from the General Statistics Office released on Friday.

For the entire year, the total number of foreign tourists coming to the country hit 12.6 million, 3.4 times higher than in 2022, vastly surpassing the conservative target of eight million visitors set at the beginning of the year, before China, which represented nearly a third of foreign tourists to Việt Nam in the pre-pandemic years, officially announced its resumption of international tourism.

The 12.6 million figure is still only 70 per cent of the figure in 2019, right before COVID-19.

Most are from Asia with over 9.78 million tourists (up 3.8 times compared to last year), followed by Europe (nearly 1.46 million, up 2.9 times), Americas (903,800 -- up 2.3 times), Oceania (428,100 -- up 2.7 times), and Africa (30,100 -- up 2.6 times).

Of the total number of international visitors, 11 million arrivals were by air (86.9 per cent -- up 3.3 times compared to last year), 1.5 million by road (12.1 per cent -- up four times), 126,100 by sea routes (1 per cent -- up 40.2 times).

The number of Vietnamese people travelling abroad in December 2023 was 352,100, an increase of 23.2 per cent compared to the same period last year. Overall in 2023, Vietnamese outbound travelers hit five million, doubling the 2022 figure.

Revenues from accommodation and dining services in 2023 is estimated to reach VNĐ673.5 trillion (US$27.77 billion), accounting for 10.8 per cent of the country's total revenues from services and retail, and representing an increase of 14.7 per cent compared to the previous year.

The revenue from tourism activities is estimated at VNĐ37.8 trillion ($1.558 billion), a 52.5 per cent increase compared to the previous year. This is attributed to the active implementation of various tourism products, cultural and sports activities to stimulate tourism demand in 2023.

Đà Nẵng, HCM City, Hà Nội, Hải Phòng, and Cần Thơ are the five localities reporting the highest jump in tourism revenues in 2023 compared to 2022.

The Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism also informed that the National Tourism Year 2023 in the south-central province of Bình Thuận with the theme "Bình Thuận - Green Tourism comes together" was highly successful with 208 national and international-scale events, 11 national-level activities, and 164 events organised by 41 provinces and cities nationwide.

Bình Thuận alone hosted more than 30 events, contributing to promoting the role of the tourism industry in the national economy and the socio-economic development of the locality. For the first time, Bình Thuận welcomed more than 8.5 million tourists, with total tourism revenue exceeding VNĐ23 trillion, nearly doubling that of 2022.

The province also entered the list of nine localities with the biggest tourism revenue nationwide, contributing to the recovery, development, introduction, and promotion of the image of Việt Nam and its people to international friends.

The National Tourism Year 2024 will be hosted by the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên with the theme "Điện Biên - Unique Experience". This is an exemplary cultural, economic, and social event at national and international scale, especially in association with the 70th anniversary of the Điện Biên Phủ Victory (May 7, 1954-2024).

To date, the country has 3,921 international travel businesses (an increase of 34.3 per cent), with more diverse business types.

The country has 37,331 tour guides who have been issued professional cards; 573 tourist sites, 64 provincial-level tourist areas, and seven national-level tourist areas have been recognised; 90 training establishments have been authorised to organise examinations and issue certificates for the operation and providing tour guide courses.

In terms of accommodation facilities, the country currently has about 38,000 establishments with over 780,000 rooms. — VNS