1.8 million international visitors came to Vietnam in the first two months of this year, far higher than the same period last year and nearly a quarter of the target for 2023.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the number of international visitors to Vietnam in February 2023 reached nearly 933,000, up 7.1 per cent compared to January and over 30-times times higher than the same period last year as international routes are restored.
Vietnam's tourism industry is welcoming a strong return of international tourists. Photo: Movenpick Resort Cam Ranh
Out of a total of more than 1.8 million international visitors to Vietnam in the first two months of this year, about 9 per cent arrived by air, 8.6 per cent by road, and 0.7 per cent by sea.
Korea is still the largest international tourist market, reaching just over 301,000 visitors. The second is the US with an estimated 70,000 visitors.
In February 2023, tourists from China were estimated at 55,000, although China has not opened flights to Vietnam. In January, the number of Chinese visitors was 15,875 people.
In the first two months of 2023, international visitors to Vietnam were nearly equal to a quarter of the targeted 8 million visitors for the year, but still less than 60 per cent compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2019.
Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, which are competitors to Vietnam's tourism in the region, are all offering programmes to attract Chinese tourists. Thailand, with the influx of Chinese tourists, will be more confident with a goal of welcoming 25 million international visitors in 2023.
Chinese tourists account for about one-third of international visitors to Vietnam. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam has just sent a document to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, proposing the early inclusion of Vietnam in the list of countries piloting group tourism.
However, experts said that even if Chinese tourists return, the market will not be able to recover immediately.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and travel agencies have proposed many specific policies to attract international visitors, including applying electronic visas for foreign visitors, further simplifying procedures of issuing visas and enhancing technology application.
The tourism industry will also participate in international events on Southeast Asian tourism, international travel fairs in London (UK), Berlin (Germany), etc. and media and promote Vietnam's tourism on CNN and other major media channels.
By Thai An