|Saigon's night splendor is seen from above. Photo by Shutterstocks/Tokin.
Both Vietnam’s southern metropolis and the capital Hanoi climbed up one place from last year to 31st and 52nd respectively in the annual Top City Destinations Ranking report, released Thursday by the UK-based global business intelligence firm Euromonitor International.
Da Nang, the country’s third largest city after HCMC and Hanoi, jumped six places from last year to 90th in the list, which ranked over 400 cities around the world based on the number of international tourist arrivals.
The report said HCMC received 7.2 million foreign tourist arrivals last year and is expected to welcome 8.2 million this year, up 14 percent from a year ago.
Hanoi received 4.6 million foreign tourists in 2018 and expects 5.1 million arrivals this year, a year-on-year rise of 9.5 percent.
Da Nang, home to My Khe Beach and neighbor to the hot tourism destination of Hoi An, has also been experiencing a surge in foreign arrivals.
More than 2.5 million foreigners visited the central city last year and it is expected to welcome an estimated 2.8 million this year, up 15 percent from a year ago, according to the report.
Hong Kong was the most visited with 29 million international tourist arrivals, followed by Bangkok (24 million) and London (19 million).
Asian cities dominated the global destination rankings thanks to the inexorable rise of Chinese outbound tourism, the Euromonitor report said. Asia continued to outpace other regions, accounting for 43 of the top 100 cities.
"While leading cities have benefited from their own popularity, many destinations are now faced with issues of overcrowding, pollution and transport management. There has been a greater focus on enhancing infrastructure and airport capacities through new terminals and improved passenger facilities," said Rabia Yasmeen, a senior analyst for Euromonitor.
Last October, Hanoi and HCMC were named among the top 20 travel destinations in the Asia-Pacific region in the annual Asia Pacific Destinations Index drawn up by US payment company Mastercard.