Vietnam closed 2018 almost spot on its target accumulating 15,497,791 international visitors that represented an increase of 19.9% over 2017.
According to data collected by the Government Statistics Organization, December 2018 closed with an estimated 1,374,235 arrivals, up 7.7% over the same month of previous year.
The official target for the year was set at 15.5 million.
Arrivals data confirmed the dominance of Asia credited with Vietnam’s four top markets. The region supplied 12,075,466 visits, led by China totaling 4,966,468 visits and representing a substantial climb of 23.9%.
Only second placed Korea achieved a stronger growth rate of 44.3% on a respectable score of 3,485,406 visits.
The other two were Japan in third place with 826,674 visits representing an improvement of just 3.6% and Taiwan with 714,112 visits, up 15.9%
In fifth place, the USA supplied 687,226 visits an increase of 11.9%, the only market outside of Asia in the top five suppliers.
Russia was a notable high ranker in sixth place with 606,6387 visits, up 5.7%, just ahead of Malaysia that supplied 540,119 visits up 12.4%.
Travel from Malaysia increased to Vietnam following new services introduced by the AirAsia group.
Vietnam is hosting the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Halong Bay, 14 to 18 January, which should boost travel bookings due to a strong delegation of travel buyers from Europe.
It is also understood that Hong Kong will be a prime target for promotions this year. The market is underperforming with just 60,208 visits in 2018, but the growth rate of 30.4% was described as encouraging.
Another encouraging market is Finland with 22,785 visits in 2018 representing an improvement of 24.9%.
On the downside, neighbors with land borders, Cambodia and Laos, both recorded declines in travel to Vietnam in 2018. Registering 202,954 visits, Cambodia was down 8.8%, while Laos supplying 120,009 visits declined by 15.2%. They were only two markets that deteriorated.