The growth was particularly high in summer months.
Last year Vietnam welcomed 10 million foreign visitors and served 62 million domestic travelers earning US$18 billion.
Vietnam plans to increase the number of foreign arrivals to 13 million this year, up 30%. The country has accelerated promotion activities, diversified and improved services, and increased airline connection.
Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said, “Creating new products and renewing old products is the way we become more professional. We need to connect destinations with unique products of each locality to lure more visitors."
"We need to attract strategic investors in a professional and scientific way to create major tourism projects. It’s important to make promotion activities in key markets more focused. Security, safety, and environmental hygiene are also prerequisites to sustain tourism growth,” he added.
Vietnam aims to develop tourism into a spearhead economic sector by 2020 with the target of receiving up to 20 million foreign arrivals and 82 million domestic tourists, contributing 10% to the GDP, and earning US$35 billion.
By 2030, tourism, a spearhead economic sector, will drive the development of other sectors and Vietnam will be one of the leading Southeast Asian countries with strong tourism growth.
Mr. Tuan said, “A Party resolution defines tourism development as a strategic direction in the national socio-economic development. The whole political system, sectors, localities and the public are urged to join efforts to boost tourism development.”
According to the World Tourism Organization, international travelers are expected to number 1.8 billion by 2030 and Southeast Asia will become the world’s 4th largest tourist destination with 187 million foreign visitors.