Monday , May 27 2024

Vietnam wraps up 2023 with 12.6 million foreign vistors

Vietnam received 12.6 million international visitors this year, up 3.4 times against the previous year but only around 70% of pre-pandemic times.

South Korea remained the largest source of tourists (3.6 million), followed by mainland China (1.7 million), Taiwan (851,000), the U.S. (717,000), and Japan (589,000), acording to a report from the General Statistics Office.

Thailand (489,000), Malaysia (470,000), Cambodia (402,000), India (392,000) and Australia (390,000) rounded off the top 10.

In December alone, the country welcomed 1.4 million arrivals, the highest monthly number since it reopened its borders after Covid in March last year.

Despite surpassing the intial target of 8 million set earlier this year, the number of foreign tourists to Vietnam was still much lower than other Southeast Asian countries.

Thailand received 27.25 million foreign tourist arrivals from Jan. 1 to Dec. 24 and is targeting 28 million for the full year, its tourism ministry said on Tuesday.

As of late November, Malaysia received over 26 million tourist arrivals.

Southeast Asian countries have sped up in tourism recovery race as Thailand and Malaysia already waived visas for Chinese and Indian tourists.

Indonesia recently considered granting visa-free entry to nationals of 20 countries, including China.

Singapore also plans a 30-day mutual visa exemption for Chinese tourists early next year.

Though the tourism industry achieved all its targets, experts said 2023 was not a particularly successful year for it as its hospitality and travel businesses struggled to survive challenges.

This year, five million Vietnamese traveled abroad, double last year, with Thailand, South Korea and Japan being the most favored destinations.

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