Visitor arrivals to Vietnam experienced a ninth consecutive month of decline in February 2015.
According to the latest data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), approximately 756,000 overseas visitors travelled to Vietnam last month, 10% fewer than in February 2014.
Once again the downturn was caused by the slowdown of travel from China. Arrivals from the mainland plunged more than 50% year-on-year during the month, while visitor numbers from Taiwan dropped 41%.
And while the year-on-year comparisons could have been affected by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays, combined figures for January and February 2015 show a 40% drop in Chinese visitors.
And to make matters worse, Vietnam is also being impacted by Russia’s economic problems. Russia is Vietnam’s biggest European source market, but arrivals from the country fell more than 25% in the first two months of the year.
As a result of the Chinese downturn, South Korea has now become the largest visitor source market for Vietnam, contributing 145,600 arrivals in February 2015 and 262,000 in the first two months of the year, up 68% and 55% respectively.
Vietnam ended 2014 with 7.87 million international arrivals, a 4% improvement compared to 2013. But from June to December 2014 the country saw seven straight months of falling year-on-year figures – a worrying trend that has now continued into 2015.