Vietnam welcomed 3.83 million international tourists in 2020, marking a decrease of 14 million, or 78.7 percent, against last year, according to the General Statistics Office.
Up to 96 percent of the 3.83 million international visitors came to Vietnam in the first quarter of this year.
In the second quarter, foreign experts and skilled workers accounted for the majority of international arrivals as the nation started closing its borders to foreigners on March 22.
Vietnam only allows entry to skilled workers, experts, diplomats, and Vietnamese repatriates, who are all subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival, to stem COVID-19 spread.
In December, 16,300 foreigners visited the Southeast Asian country, down 99 percent from the same period last year.
For the whole year, visitors from Asia made up 73.3 percent of the total number of international visitors to Vietnam but nosedived 80.4 percent compared to 2019.
Also, visitors from all major markets declined drastically.
Particularly, the number of visitors from China shrank 83.5 percent, from South Korea plummeted 80.4 percent, from Japan down 78.4 percent, from Taiwan dropped 78.8 percent, from Cambodia fell 46.6 percent, and from Malaysia slipped 80.7 percent.
Likewise, international arrivals from Europe decreased 69 percent, and from the U.S. went down 75.7 percent compared to the previous year.
Experiencing the same downward trend, the numbers of domestic tourists and outbound visitors fell 50 percent and 85 percent, respectively, resulting in a combined revenue drop of over 61 percent, or US$23 billion, versus 2019.
Fewer international visitors also led to a significant fall in revenue from accommodations, dining, and travel services in many localities which heavily rely on tourism.