Vietnam Smashes Tourism Record With 8m Visitors in 2016


Vietnam has set a new record for international visitor arrivals.

The country has now welcomed more than eight million overseas visitors in a single calendar year for the first time, exceeding the previous full-year total of 7.94m arrivals set in 2015. And this year’s total has been achieved in only 10 months; Vietnam is now expected to end the year with between 9.5m and 10m international visitors.

Data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) reveals that the country welcomed a total of 8.08m international arrivals in the January-October 2016 period, 25.4% up year-on-year. This continues the trend of strong double-digit growth seen since the end of last year.

And much of this improvement has been driven by just two markets: mainland China and South Korea. Chinese arrivals jumped 55.2% to 2.23m in 2016, while Korean visitation is up 40.1% to 1.26m, meaning that these two countries accounted for more than 43% of total international arrivals to Vietnam in the 10-month period.

But these weren’t the only success stories; double-digit growth was also experienced from several other large source markets including Thailand (+30.8% to 212,271), Russia (+27.1% to 330,785), the UK (+21.7% to 209,048), Taiwan (+15.9% to 423,401), Malaysia (+15.6% to 319,885) and the US (+14.2% to 461,307). In fact the only major source market to have declined was neighbouring Cambodia (-8.0% to 172,694).

Arrivals by air – a key indicator of international business and leisure tourism – jumped 31.1% to 6.78m, while overland arrival rose just 4.6% to 1.18m.

Monthly arrivals to Vietnam have now exceeded 800,000 for the last four months; if this trend continues for the final two months of the year Vietnam is likely to end 2016 with close to 10m visitors.

Vietnam’s top five source markets in Jan-Oct 2016

1)    Mainland China    –    2,228,515
2)    South Korea          –    1,257,020
3)     Japan                     –    611,401
4)    USA                         –    461,307
5)    Taiwan                    –    423,401

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