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Number of foreign tourists grows rapidly, but average spending rises slowly

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More European travellers are choosing thematic tours to learn about culture, ecosystems and religions in Vietnam.

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11.7 million foreign travelers came to Vietnam in the first nine months


General director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Van Tuan said 11.7 million foreign travelers came to Vietnam in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 22 percent over the same period last year. There were 62.1 million domestic travelers.

Reports all show the steady rise in the number of foreign travelers to Vietnam, from 10 million in 2016 to 12.9 million in 2017 (up by 29 percent). 

Le Tuan Anh, director of the VNAT’s Tourism Information Center, cited two surveys in 2014 and 2017 as reporting that the average daily spending of foreign travelers from all markets has been increasing. 

The average spending of South Korean travelers increased by 28.5 percent from $133.4 to $171.5 and the figure was 9.6 percent for Chinese, from $118.6 to $130.1.

The surveys also found that the number of foreign travelers coming to Vietnam for the second and subsequent times amounted to 40.4 percent.

“The high proportion of foreign travelers coming back to Vietnam shows the increased attractiveness of Vietnam in the eyes of travelers: more destinations, more diverse tourism products and upgraded infrastructure system,” Anh said, adding that the number of high-end travelers using high-quality services is also on the rise.

In 2011, Vietnam had 13,000 tourism accommodation establishments, while the figure increased by two times in 2017 with the number of 4-star and 5-star hotel rooms increasing by 14 percent and 19 percent per annum, respectively.

European travelers, who booked trans-Viet tours in the past, now prefer thematic tours to learn about the original characteristics of the destinations. 

Meanwhile, Japanese like to come to the places famous for cultural value which ensure basic facilities for long-distance tours such as HCMC, Da Nang, Hoi An ancient town, the ancient citadel of Hue and Ha Long Bay.

South Koreans previously liked to travel to tourism points in the north, but now they travel in the central and southern regions as well. Meanwhile, Chinese travelers go to all tourism sites.

The increase in number of foreign travelers and improvement in tourism products has helped increase total revenue. 

In 2017, the revenue was VND541 trillion, an increase of 29.7 percent compared with 2016, including VND316 trillion from foreign travelers, up by 31 percent over 2016 and 60 percent over 2015. 

Tourism made up 7.9 percent of GDP in 2017.

However, analysts pointed out that while the number of foreign tourists increased rapidly, the average spending of travelers rose slowly. The average spending was $1,100, much lower than in other regional countries.


Source: VietNamNet

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