Numbers rise 28.3% against March 2015 but fall 1.6% against February.
The number of foreign tourists arriving in Vietnam during March stood at 820,480, a 1.6 per cent fall against February but up 28.3 per cent against March 2015, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT). This was the ninth consecutive month recording a year-on-year increase following 13 months of continual declines.
The total for the first three months reached nearly 2.5 million, up 19.9 per cent compared to the same period last year. Of these, 2 million arrived by air, an increase of 16.8 per cent year-on-year, 37,034 by sea, a significant decline of 40.1 per cent, and 435,556 overland, soaring 50.5 per cent.
Compared to March 2015 markets with visa exemptions such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy and the UK saw remarkable increases, of 54.8 per cent, 46.2 per cent, 38.4 per cent, 33.2 per cent, and 30.9 per cent, respectively, indicating the government’s efforts at promoting tourism development are bearing fruit.
VNAT explained that a number of tourists from these markets are living, working, or traveling in the region and decided to come to Vietnam when news of the exemptions was announced.
The increase in foreign tourist numbers has mostly been from European markets, where many choose a winter holiday in warmer climes.
As for Asian markets, after a long period of decline China recording the highest increase in the month of March, double the number in March 2015, followed by Thailand and South Korea, with increases of 48.5 and 28.4 per cent, respectively. Taiwan and Cambodia were the only markets to see falling numbers, by 1 per cent and 6.8 per cent, respectively.
With the current level of growth Vietnam’s tourism industry will achieve its target of becoming a key economic sector by 2020 if the global political and economic situation remains stable, according to a report released by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh on the tourism development strategy to 2020 and vision to 2030.
Vietnam hopes to welcome 8.5 million foreign visitors and cater to 60 million domestic travelers this year, earning a total of VND370 trillion ($16.8 billion) in revenue, a conference in Hanoi on January 15 was told.