Foreign arrivals defy economic woes

Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 07:00

Foreign tourists enjoy the ancient town of Hoi An. Nearly 4.2 million foreigners travelled to Viet Nam in the past seven months, a yearly increase of 5.9 per cent. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Duc

HA NOI (Biz Hub)— About 660,000 international tourists visited Viet Nam last month, up 16 per cent month-on month and 28.5 per cent against the same month last year, according to the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

The latest addition has brought the total number of foreign visitors in the past seven months to nearly 4.2 million, a yearly increase of 5.9 per cent, VNAT said.

More than 3.36 million arrived by air, up 3.8 per cent year on year, while over 139,000 arrived by sea (down 2.7 per cent) and 594,000 by land (up 20 per cent).

More than 2.5 million arrivals came to Viet Nam as tourists, while the number of foreigners arriving for business and visiting relatives was 702,000 and 699,600, respectively.

They mainly came from China (up 29.2 per cent), South Korea (4.3 per cent), Japan (2.9 per cent), Australia (12.7 per cent), Malaysia (12.1 per cent), Thailand (25.5 per cent), Russia (57.4 per cent) and the UK (4.4 per cent).

In the context of the global economic downturn, the rising number of foreign arrivals in Viet Nam was a promising sign, industry insiders have said.

The country was still an attractive destination in the eyes of investors despite its economic difficulties, VNAT general director Nguyen Van Tuan told a recent teleconference.

To further improve the tourism environment, he emphasised the importance of managing the quality of tourism products and re-organising the tourism environment.

The hospitality sector expects to receive about 7.2 million foreign visitors this year, a rise of 5.15 per cent. It will also serve about 35 million domestic tourists (a surge of 7.69 per cent). — VNS

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