By Don Ross
Vietnam clocked up close to 6 million visits in the first four months of the year encouraging officials to believe the country could welcome around 18 million visits by the end of 2019.
The latest statistics posted by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism for January to April reached 5,968,880 visits, an increase of 7.6% over the same period last year.
During April alone visits reached 1,468,766 according to the provisional figures filed the Government Statistics Office representing an increase of 9.5% over the same period last year.
Tourism during the four months made strong gains in Asian markets with the exception of China down 3.8%, Cambodia down 56.4% and Laos down 19.9%.
Despite the 3.8% contraction in visits from China, a trend seen across the region, China remained the top source market with 1,707,819 visits.
In the second place, Korea, with 1,445,879 visits, grew 23.7% suggesting the market could ultimately close the gap and overtake China possibly by the year-end.
There was a big gap between second-placed Korea and Japan in third place that generated 302,804 visits based on a steady 8.2% growth rate.
Taiwan in fourth place delivered 284,310 visits over the four months up 25%.
The USA, the only market outside of Asia to appear on the top five supply list, generated 280,996 visits up 6.7% while Russia previously in fifth-place generated 273,782 visits up by 4.5%
Asian markets delivered mainly robust double-digit growth rates as seen in Malaysia generating 205,463 visits up 15,7%. Thailand supplied 174,777 visits up by a massive 46%.
The two notable Asian markets Singapore and Hong Kong presented more modest growth rates of 3.1% and 6.5% on volumes of 94,501 and 19,400 respectively.
But looking at Southeast Asian markets, Indonesia deserves a mention for its 29.1% improvement that generated 36,540 visits based on better air connections and suggests there is considerable potential for Vietnam’s tourism industry to attract more visitors from Southeast Asia’s most populace nation.
Travel from the Philippines at 58,132 visits during the first four months presents an equally attractive outlook as visits surged by 24.4%.
In general, European markets maintained positive but less impressive growth rates. The UK by far the largest market with 124,782 visits improved by just 4.5%.
Australia a strong supporter of Vietnam’s tourism in past years tallied 147,201 visits, down by a marginal 0.3% probably due to seasonal trends. During 2018, Australia delivered 386,934 visits representing an improvement of 4.5%.
Last year, Vietnam tallied 15,497,791 visits up 19.9% on the previous year.
This article first appeared on ttrweekly.com