The February figure represented a 31.6-fold increase compared to the same period last year before the country completely reopened its borders and resumed all international tourism activities in mid-March.
All in all, there were 1.8 million foreign visitors arriving in Vietnam in the first two months of 2023, 36.6 times higher than the first two months of 2022, but barely 60% of the figure of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
In the first two months, 90.7% of the tourists came to Vietnam by air (1.6 million), 8.6% by road (154,900), and 0.7% by sea (13,000).
Most of the visitors are from Asia with 1.29 million, followed by European visitors (242,500), Americas (186,300), Oceania (77,300), and Africa (4,300).
Vietnam aims to welcome 8 million foreign tourists this year, a modest figure compared to 19 million tourists the country received in 2019.
The goal was set at the beginning of 2023, before China, a major market that contributes nearly a third of the total of foreign visitors to Vietnam in pre-pandemic years announced its reopening plan in February.
However, it should be noted that China has not included Vietnam in the list of 20 countries to where travel companies can organise outbound tours with “flights hotels” service (which include Thailand, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Cuba, South Africa, etc.) in its tourism resumption announcement on February 6.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has proposed China restart outbound travel tours to Vietnam to improve and recover tourism between the two countries in a diplomatic note.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said during March 7-9, Vietnam will attend the 2023 ITB Berlin Fair, the world’s largest annual tourism trade fair with 180,000 visitors expected this year.
Vietnam will build a 450m2 pavilion under the theme of “Reconnecting” after COVID-19 disruptions. Vietnam’s tourism will prioritise ‘reconnections’ with markets, partners, tourists and the public in German and European nations.
Many travel agencies and tourism companies will also be present to introduce Vietnam’s travel policies, destinations, and their new tourism products – especially health-related and sustainable, responsible tourism.
New websites, video clips and publications for new promotional campaigns for Vietnam’s tourism will be unveiled at this event.
The two-month tourism revenue is estimated at 4.7 trillion VND (about 197 million USD), 2.2 times higher than the same period last year, as localities this year can resume spring festivals completely uninhabited by COVID-19 restrictions, drawing a large number of domestic travellers.