Quang Ninh to welcome 15 millionth foreign tourist
09:56 | 19/10/2018
VGP – Viet Nam expects to welcome its 15 millionth foreign visitor of 2018 in Ha Long City, the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, in late November or early December, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Head of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Van Tuan said expectations are high that the country can fulfill its target of welcoming 16 million international visitors this year.

More than 11.6 million foreigners arrived in the country in the first nine months of this year, a 22.9% year-on-year increase. Last year's foreign arrivals is 12.9 million.

The continuous growth in tourist arrivals can be partly attributed to Viet Nam’s efforts to relax its visa policy, Tuan added.

The rate of second-time visitors reached 40.4% last year, and average daily spending by foreign visitors from most markets increased. Spending by visitors from the Republic of Korea rose from US$ 133.4 to US$171.5 a day, while that of Chinese visitors went up from US$118.6 to US$130.1 per day, the National Tourism Administration.

Cheap tours, which offer low prices but encourage tourists to use more shopping, food and entertainment services at the destinations, was a hot topic at the press conference.

The country is among countries with the strictest visa policy in Asia. The country currently offers visa waivers to visitors from only 22 countries and territories including ASEAN co-members.

Indonesia, one of the world’s most liberalized countries for visas, grants visa-free travel to 169 countries. Singapore allows 158 nationalities to enter visa-free, while the figure for Malaysia is 155 and Thailand 61.

Viet Nam has tried to relax its entrance with an e-visa policy which is now available to people from 46 countries, with Indians and Australians added late last year.

Currently, 52 international airlines have entered the Vietnamese market, and air travellers account for 84.4% of total foreigners to Viet Nam.

                                                                                                                By Hoang Ha

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