By Hoang Phong   September 26, 2023 | 11:34 am GMT+7

Vietnam world's 19th most visited destination this summer

South Korean tourists in Nha Trang, May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Toan

As the tourism industry began to show signs of improvement, Vietnam became one of the world’s busiest summer vacation destinations.

ForwardKeys, a travel data and analytics firm located in Spain, analyzed flight bookings from July 1 through August 31 and classified Vietnam as the 19th most visited country.

The Philippines came in at number 23, Singapore at number 24, Indonesia at number 27, and Malaysia at number 36 on the list, all of which were behind Vietnam.

Thailand ranked in at number 14, making it one of only two Southeast Asian countries (the other being Vietnam) to crack the top 20.

The survey found that international flight travel to Vietnam this summer increased by 12% compared to the same period last year, but was 28% lower than pre-pandemic levels.

In July and August, Vietnam saw 2.3 million international visitors, or 80 percent of the total for the same period in 2019.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, almost 2 million of these tourists arrived in the country via airplane, representing roughly 88% of pre-pandemic levels.

Beginning on August 15, inhabitants of all nations and territories will be able to register for an electronic visa to Vietnam, which will allow them repeated entries within 90 days.

Citizens of the 13 nations that were previously exempted from visa requirements on a unilateral basis now have their stay in Vietnam extended from 15 days to 45 days.

Vietnam has welcomed 8 million international visitors so far, and hopes to welcome 12 million by the year’s end.

Before the epidemic hit in 2019, the country had an all-time high of 18 million international tourists and a total of VND750 trillion ($30 billion) in tourism earnings.

Countries in Southeast Asia are competing with one other to attract tourists by lowering visa requirements and ramping up marketing efforts.

Compared to neighboring countries like Singapore (67.4%), Malaysia (68.3%), Indonesia (67.5%), and the Philippines (66%), Vietnam’s tourism recovery rate in the first half of this year reached 65.7%, according to the latest report by travel firm Outbox Consulting Company.

63% of the tourism industry is back in Thailand.

On September 25, Thai authorities began waiving visa requirements for visitors from China and Kazakhstan, while Indonesia’s “golden visa” policy, which permits foreigners to remain for up to 10 years, was introduced.

The Philippines began testing its first electronic visa (e-visa) system with China last month.

Source: vnEpress