Foreign tourist numbers increase

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 09:42

A Mong ethnic woman iintroduces samples of hand-made products to foreign tourists. Viet Nam welcomed 3.5 million foreign visitors in the first half of this year, an increase of 2.6 per cent over the same period last year. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Ha
HA NOI (Biz Hub)— Foreign tourist arrivals in the first half of this year reached 3.5 million, an increase of 2.6 per cent over the same period last year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has said.

The tourism sector posted total revenues of VND105 trillion (US$5 billion), up 23.5 per cent from the corresponding period last year. The revenue accounted for 53 per cent of the annual target.

Over 567,000 people arrived in June alone, an increase of 1.5 per cent from May and 29.9 per cent from one year ago.

The number of domestic tourists hit 24 million in the first half of the year, a surge of 12 per cent year-on-year, according to provisional tourist department statistics.

HCM City continued to be the favourite destination in the first half, luring over 1.9 million tourists, a rise of 5 per cent, followed by the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau with 6.46 million visitors (up 10.7 per cent).

Viet Nam's top ten tourism markets include Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, China, New Zealand, Malaysia, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the UK.

The tourism sector has focused on facilitating activities of tour operators and investing in accommodation.

By June 2013, there were more than 1,180 tour operators working in international travel business. The total number of tourist accommodation facilities was estimated at 13,700, with around 290,000 rooms, including 61 five-star hotels with 14,600 rooms, 154 four-star hotels with 19,300 rooms and 365 three-star hotels with 25,520 rooms.

The industry will be regulated more closely when a master plan is issued, boosting regional tourism development, improving inspections at destinations and operators and organising events for the National Tourism Year 2013.

The country expects to receive about 7.2 million foreign visitors this year, a rise of 5.15 per cent, and to host about 35 million domestic tourists (a surge of 7.69 per cent). — VNS

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