HANOI, 15 August 2019: South Korea is the unsung hero of Vietnam’s tourist arrivals for the first seven months of 2019, sporting a 22.1% growth rate and delivering 2,400,095 visits.
It’s a remarkable performance overshadowed only by China that supplied 2,890,257 visits but suffered a 2.8% decline when compared with the same seven months of 2019.
South Korea’s robust performance shows up in the latest tourist arrivals from January to July. The Vietnam National Tourism Administration website posted the data courtesy of the Government Statistics Office.
In July alone, Vietnam welcomed an estimated 1,315,792 arrivals up 10.7% while international arrivals for January to July reached 9,796,785 up 7.9% over the same period last year.
Except for arrivals from China, seven months of data showed respectable growth rates from all the top five markets.
Following China and South Korea, third-placed Japan supplied 524,481 visits up 12.9% year-on-year. Taiwan in fourth-placed delivered 517,015 trips up 27.6%. The US in fifth-place supplied 465,711 visits up 7.4%.
Region-wise Asia delivered 7,600,884 visits and it here where the big growth rates are showing up mainly in emerging Southeast Asian markets.
Thailand’s outbound travel to Vietnam grew 48.2% during the seven months, but Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia delivered growth rates of 13 to 21%. Only Singapore’s outbound market fell off the pace with a sluggish 4.2% growth rate.
It seems to indicate that Vietnam’s promotions are gearing up in neighbouring ASEAN markets possibly driven by the increase in low-cost airline flights to popular destinations.
Declining arrivals from Laos (down 31.3%) and Cambodia (down 51.6%) worry tourism officials who are keen to see overland tourism grow.
But there is plenty of good cheer seen in the dramatic 19.9% increase from India that supplied 88,565 trips during the seven months. More direct flights planned for 2020 between major cities in India and Vietnam’s gateways should ensure the positive trend continues.
European markets supplied 1,298,139 visits up 5.5%, but in every market, the growth rate was low at 4 to 9% with arrivals from Finland in the negative down by 9.2%.
As always Russia remains a remarkably positive outpost in Europe for Vietnam travel coming in as the sixth largest supply market with 396,811 visits up by 6.3%. Take Russia out of the equation, and the challenge facing Vietnam in Europe is very evident. It should be doing much better, considering the quality of its beach resorts and its price advantage.
Vietnam News Agency reports that this year’s target is an ambitious 18 million foreign visitors and 85 million domestic tourists, generating revenue of VND700 trillion (USD30.14 billion).
The news agency states “if achieved this number will hit the official target 17 to 20 million international visitors by 2020 set by the government.”
(Source: VNAT and GSO statistics).