Vietnam Tourism on the Rise

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Jul. 24 – Vietnam has seen its tourism industry rising as of late, with foreign tourist arrivals in the first half of this year already reaching upwards of 3.5 million – a 2.6 percent year-on-year increase.

Over 567,000 people came to the country last month in June, up 1.5 percent from the previous month of May and up 29.9 percent year-on-year. The first half of the year also saw Vietnam’s domestic tourists surge by 12 percent to 24 million.

Vietnam’s overall tourism sector had already posted total revenues of VND105 trillion (US$5 billion) in 2013 thus far, up 23.5 percent from the same period last year and good for 53 percent of its annual target.

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Beautiful southern beach province Ba Ria-Vung Tau continues to be a popular tourist hotspot, with about 6.46 million tourists visiting during the first half of 2013 – up 10.7 percent year-on-year. Ho Chi Minh City follows not too far behind, with over 1.9 million tourists having visited the city during the same period, representing a 5 percent year-on-year increase.

Vietnam expects to receive about 7.2 million foreign visitors this year, a rise of 5.15 percent since last year, in addition to hosting about 35 million domestic tourists (a 7.69 percent increase).

The top 10 tourism markets include Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, China, New Zealand, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The next move the country’s tourism sector has started undertaking is an expansion of tour operator activities and increasing investments in local accommodation facilities.

As of June 2013, there were close to 1,200 tour operators with a reputation for premium international travel working throughout Vietnam. In addition, the country houses around 14,000 tourist accommodation facilities for a total of 290,000 rooms. This includes 61 five-star hotels with 14,600 rooms, 154 four-star hotels with 19,300 rooms and 365 three-star hotels with over 25,500 rooms.

In related news, the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents (VISTA) recently entered into a strategic partnership with the Greek tourism marketing, communication and sales company Travel Media Applications (TMA) with an aim to increase outbound tourism from Vietnam to the rest of the world.

Through the partnership, TMA will undertake all international marketing and sales for the VISTA-organized Vietnam International Travel Market (VITM) – the country’s first premier outbound tourism exhibition.

VITM was first held this past April, and the exhibition attracted over 400 exhibitors from around the world, 2,000 trade visitors from Vietnam and other Asian countries, in addition to over 40,000 consumers from around the world. More than 4,000 domestic travel packages, 2,000 international travel packages and 10,000 air tickets were sold during the event.

In addition, TMA will organize comprehensive training programs for VISTA’s members, which will include training seminars and presentations of new tourism products and destinations.

TMA founder, Mr Theodore Koumelis, added that “the timing is appropriate for Europe, the Middle East and other worldwide tourist destinations to showcase their products and to facilitate travelling for the Vietnamese. Our role now is to present international destinations and tourism products to the travel agents of Vietnam aiming at their collaboration with destination management companies from Europe and around the world.”

Vietnam’s outbound tourism industry has grown by 20 percent over the past decade.

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