Foreign tourists to Việt Nam in first quarter of 2024 surpasses pre-pandemic number

Visitors from Asian countries continued to make up the largest portion in the total figure, with over 3.5 million arrivals (up 81.6 per cent year-on-year), followed by visitors from European nations with 661,800 arrivals.

Foreign tourists visiting the Temple of Literature in Hà Nội in February 2024. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt

HÀ NỘI — International arrivals to Việt Nam in March 2024 reached nearly 1.6 million, up 4.4 per cent compared to the previous month, according to the latest report from the General Statistics Office.

This means that in the first quarter of 2024, international arrivals to the country reached over 4.6 million, a whopping increase of 72 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The first quarter 2024 number is also 3.2 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and also when Việt Nam scored its biggest arrivals number of over 18 million, which shows recovery is on the way for the tourism sector.

This positive result is due to favourable visa policies, tourism stimulus programmes, and the efforts of the Government and domestic tourism businesses.

Visitors from Asian countries continued to make up the largest portion in the total figure, with over 3.5 million arrivals (up 81.6 per cent year-on-year), followed by visitors from European nations with 661,800 arrivals (up 71.9 per cent). Up 302,300 visitors were from the Americas (up 14.5 per cent), 143,700 were from Oceania (up 37.2 per cent), and 13,100 from Africa (up 112.1 per cent).

Of the total of over 4.6 million international arrivals to Việt Nam in the first quarter of this year, air travel accounted for 83.6 per cent; road travel accounted for 13.5 per cent, and sea travel accounted for 2.9 per cent.

Revenue from accommodation and dining services in the first quarter of 2024 is estimated at VNĐ174.8 trillion (about US$7 billion). Revenue from tour operations is estimated at VNĐ14.1 trillion, accounting for 0.9 per cent of the total services revenues in the country, up 46.3 per cent compared to the same period last year.

First-quarter 2024 revenue for some localities increased significantly compared to the same period last year, including Đà Nẵng (69 per cent rise), HCM City (59 per cent), Cần Thơ (57.7 per cent increase), Hà Nội (47.6 per cent) and Quảng Ninh (18.5 per cent). 

The number of Vietnamese outbound travellers in March reached 537,000, making a total of 1.2 million for the quarter, up 11.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

In 2024, Việt Nam's tourism aims to welcome 18 million international visitors, 110 million domestic tourists, with total revenues of VNĐ850 trillion.

The Việt Nam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that the whole industry needs to effectively communicate, promote and advertise in the new situation, clearly identify target markets, and directly approach customers to promote destination information.

Additionally, the tourism industry needs to enhance cooperation with central and local authorities, as well as businesses, to implement tourism promotion and advertising activities.

VNAT is studying and consulting the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on the issuance of relevant regulations to adjust activities related to the Tourism Development Fund to enhance the effectiveness of promotional activities and support tourism development. 

Aside from that, according to VNAT, tourism is a comprehensive economic sector, and international visitors to Việt Nam come not only for leisure purposes but also for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), health care and sports activities. Therefore, besides meeting basic needs such as accommodation and transportation, it is necessary to develop more diverse products and services to cater to these tourists.

Recently, the Vietnamese Culinary Vocational Training and Jobs Association held their establishment congress in Hà Nội, with the first term for the 2024-29 period.

The association was founded to develop vocational training and employment in the culinary field nationwide, improve the quality of culinary skills, in line with development trends, integration, inheritance, promotion and dissemination of culinary essence, with the aim of making Việt Nam the "world's kitchen", contributing to the overall tourism growth.

The association aims to mobilise maximum resources to promote strong development of the culinary profession, contribute to enhancing the role of the culinary profession in the tourism service sector, elevate the position of Vietnamese cuisine worldwide and diversify tourism products. — VNS

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