Year 2016 will be an exceptional vintage year for tourism according to data of international arrivals during the first six months of this year. Total international arrivals in 6 months reached 4,706,324 arrivals, increasing by 21.3% over the same period last year.
The growth was particularly stimulated by the jump of Chinese travellers up by 47.9% during the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2015. China is by far Vietnam’s largest incoming market with 1.2 million travellers during the first six months. Second largest incoming market is South Korea with a total of 741,000 visitors. This represents also one of Vietnam’s fastest growing market with a growth rate of 34%. Japan was the third biggest market with 356,000 visitors (+12.4%) followed by US arrivals (293,000, +14.5%) and Chinese Taipei arrivals (242,000, +15.8%).
The visa waiver program for five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) boosted arrivals during the first half of the year. The UK is now the largest Western European market with 128,000 arrivals during the first half 2016 (up by 24.6%). Italy and Spain progressed respectively by 30.1% and 22.7% while Germany and France showed growth of 17.1% and 13.8%.
If such strong growth rates continue until year end, Vietnam is likely to record over 9.5 million of international tourists by the end of the year.