Photo: Duc Anh
Global Peace Index 2016 releases rankings of world's safest countries.
Vietnam ranked 59th out of 163 countries and territories with a score of 1,906 in the Global Peace Index 2016 and 12th in Asia Pacific rankings.
Among major countries, the UK was ranked 47th and the US 103rd.
The Top 10 most peaceful countries were Iceland, Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Canada, Japan and Slovenia. The lowest ranking countries, from 159th to 163rd, were Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Syria.
According to The Independent newspaper in the UK, Vietnam was one of only ten countries in the world to experience no conflict.
Vietnam has received a number of global acknowledgments recently, such as being placed 10th on the list of 2016 Culinary Hotspots for Solo Travelers by TourBar.com, a travel website and app, while Hanoi was named among the world’s greatest cities for food by The Telegraph in the UK.
Vietnam has become a rising star in ASEAN tourism, causing concern among other countries.
On June 22 the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expressed its concern in the country’s media that Vietnam may draw more South Korean tourists away from the country. A TAT representative was quoted as saying that over the next five years Vietnam will be Thailand’s key rival for South Korean tourists.
In 2015, TAT said, South Korea tourists to Thailand stood at 1.37 million, up 22 per cent, while 114,740 South Korean tourists visited Vietnam, up 131 per cent.
According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), in the first five months there was a dramatic increase in Asian tourists to Vietnam, primarily from China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
Tourists from China totaled over 1.01 million, up 44.4 per cent, South Korea 631,263, up 31.4 per cent, and Japan 301,700, up 11.7 per cent up. Those from Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore totaled 202,000, 163,500, 119,700, and 99,700, rising 15.2 per cent, 18.4 per cent, 37.7 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.
The Vietnam Institute for Tourism Development Research said that, currently, Vietnam ranks 5th among ASEAN countries in international tourist arrivals, with 7.94 million a year. The number is only equal to 27 per cent of international tourists to Thailand (29.99 million), 31 per cent of those to Malaysia (25.7 million), and 52 per cent of those to Singapore (15.23 million).
The GSO said that investment for tourism promotion in Vietnam remains modest, at about $2 million a year. The figure is equal to 2.9 per cent of Thailand’s spending on tourism promotion, 2.5 per cent of Singapore’s, and 1.9 per cent of Malaysia’s.
Tourism authorities in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia often spent $100 million annually on national tourism promotions and all have representative offices in key markets.