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Vietnam shatters tourism record

Arrivals to Vietnam exceeded eight million in the first 10 months of 2016
Arrivals to Vietnam exceeded eight million in the first 10 months of 2016

Vietnam has set a new record for international visitor arrivals.

The country has now welcomed more than eight million overseas visitors in a single calendar year for the first time, exceeding the previous full-year total of 7.94m arrivals set in 2015. And this year’s total has been achieved in only 10 months; Vietnam is now expected to end the year with between 9.5m and 10m international visitors.

Data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) reveals that the country welcomed a total of 8.08m international arrivals in the January-October 2016 period, 25.4% up year-on-year. This continues the trend of strong double-digit growth seen since the end of last year.

The country is extremely popular with visitors from China and Korea
The country is extremely popular with visitors from China and Korea

And much of this improvement has been driven by just two markets: mainland China and South Korea. Chinese arrivals jumped 55.2% to 2.23m in 2016, while Korean visitation is up 40.1% to 1.26m, meaning that these two countries accounted for more than 43% of total international arrivals to Vietnam in the 10-month period.

But these weren’t the only success stories; double-digit growth was also experienced from several other large source markets including Thailand (+30.8% to 212,271), Russia (+27.1% to 330,785), the UK (+21.7% to 209,048), Taiwan (+15.9% to 423,401), Malaysia (+15.6% to 319,885) and the US (+14.2% to 461,307). In fact the only major source market to have declined was neighbouring Cambodia (-8.0% to 172,694).

Arrivals by air – a key indicator of international business and leisure tourism – jumped 31.1% to 6.78m, while overland arrival rose just 4.6% to 1.18m.

Monthly arrivals to Vietnam have now exceeded 800,000 for the last four months; if this trend continues for the final two months of the year Vietnam is likely to end 2016 with close to 10m visitors.

Vietnam’s top five source markets in Jan-Oct 2016

1)    Mainland China    –    2,228,515
2)    South Korea          –    1,257,020
3)     Japan                     –    611,401
4)    USA                         –    461,307
5)    Taiwan                    –    423,401

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