Vietnam is on track to receive the highest number of international tourists in history this year, with the current figure drawing near to the 10 million landmark, the country’s tourism watchdog has said.
In the year to date, Vietnam’s foreign arrivals have already surpassed 9 million, compared to the full-year target of 8.5 million, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
The 11-month figure represented a 25.4 percent increase from the same period last year, and the highest ever recorded, the VNAT noted in a recent report.
Given the monthly growths between September and November, the VNAT is confident that the actual full-year figure will be well north of 10 million.
If so, Vietnam will post a record high number of international tourists as it has never welcomed the 10 millionth foreign visitor before.
Last year Vietnam received 7.94 million international tourists, a slight 0.9 percent year on year rise.
During the Jan-Nov period of this year, Vietnam raked in VND368.6 trillion ($16.6 billion) in tourism revenue, an 18.6 percent increase from 2015, according to the VNAT.
The number of domestic tourists also reached 57.5 million.
Of the foreign tourist markets to Vietnam this year, China accounted for 2.48 million arrivals, a surge of 53.9 percent, followed by South Korea and Japan.
Some 1.38 million South Korean tourists spent their holiday in Vietnam this year, up 39.2 percent year on year, and Japan, 677,000 visitors, a 10.5 percent increase.
Vietnam currently applies a visa-free travel policy to German, French, British, Italian, and Spanish visitors, with an allowed 15-day stay for each entry. Benefiting from this policy, the number of British tourists to the country rose 20.8 percent to 235,557 in the 11-month period.