Published on : Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Following a strong year in 2016, number of international arrivals swelled 23.6% in January this year. Compared to a year ago, arrival of Chinese tourists in Vietnam increased 67.9% in January. In the first month, i.e. in January 2017, Vietnam welcomed more than 1 million foreign visitors according to official data. Nearly 70% of these arrivals were from Asian countries.
The number of Chinese tourists went to 2.5 million last year, out of the total 10 million visitors, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Due to Vietnam’s proximity with China, it is a popular destination for many Chinese visitors.
Most Chinese tourists come in through northern border provinces, particularly Quang Ninh, home of the famous Ha Long Bay, possibly the country’s top sightseeing attraction.
Quang Ninh has recently allowed Chinese travelers in groups to stay up to three days without requiring a tourist visa. Vietnam has also allowed a visa exemption for South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asian neighbors. Since middle of 2015, Vietnam has also received tourists from Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. The Vietnamese government has also launched the online visa system for short term travelers or casual business travelers.
This year, Vietnam tourism authorities are expecting a 15% increase in international tourists. Tourism is expected to contribute 10% to Vietnam’s GDP, becoming a key driving force of the economy by 2020.