Sharp decline only partially offset by increases in certain markets.
The number of international visitors to Vietnam during the first four months of the year stood at 2.69 million, a 12.2 per cent decline over the same period last year, according to figures from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
Visitors arriving by air totaled 2.2 million, a fall of 9 per cent over, while arrivals by road and sea were 439,000 and 24,200, respectively, down by 24.9 and 29.8 per cent.
The number of visitors from Asia was 1.73 million, 12.9 per cent fewer, with a considerable decline recorded in the number from China (down 33.2 per cent), Cambodia (down 28.1 per cent), Thailand (down 23.7 per cent), Indonesia (down 21.6 per cent), and Laos (down 17 per cent).
The number of visitors from Europe was 449,300, a decline of 8.4 per cent, in particular those from Russia, which fell 19.9 per cent. The number from France fell 6.6 per cent and the UK and Netherlands 5.2 per cent and 4.9 per cent.
There was, however, a surge in the number of visitors from South Korea, by 33.4 per cent, and Finland 27 per cent. Slight increases were also seen in several markets, including Spain (8.2 per cent), Singapore (6.7 per cent), Italy (5 per cent), the US (4.7 per cent) and Germany (0.6 per cent).
In April Vietnam welcomed more than 690,440 international visitors, an increase of 11.7 per cent against March but a 7.4 per cent decline against April last year.
According to insiders the number of international visitors fell partly due to the impact of the global economic recession, tensions in the East Sea, and the slump of several currencies making holidays more expensive. Vietnam also needs to improve its tourism and hospitality services, however, revamp its tourism products and formulate a long-term promotional strategy for the tourism industry to attract more international tourists.