In 2022, tourism in Vietnam was struggling to recover from the COVID-19 slowdown, although the country has already lifted pandemic-related travel restrictions.
Vietnam expects to more than double tourist numbers this year to around 8 million. The projection came as official figures showed more than 3.6 million arrivals in 2022 with a return of inbound travel following the pandemic.
The UK was Vietnam’s top European market, with a total of 93,794 British visitors.
New hotels set to open in 2023 include the Nobu Hotel Danang, Avani Cam Ranh and Mandarin Oriental Saigon.
Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board chairman Kien Tran Trong said: “Last year’s strong visitor numbers speak for themselves, and are a testament to the quality of product that Vietnam has to offer tourists.
“After a quieter couple of years due to the pandemic, it’s been a pleasure to welcome back such a large number of tourists to the country, so that we can continue to show our visitors all Vietnam has to offer.
“In 2023, we look forward to continuing to welcome international travellers to our destination, as we continue to focus on improving our tourism offering throughout the year.”
Vietnam temporarily closed its borders to tourists from abroad in late March 2020 and was as aggressive as China in trying to check the spread of COVID. But it began allowing foreign visitors back in mid-March, and eased entry requirements nearly to where they were before the COVID outbreak in May, ahead of its neighbors.
The number of inbound tourists to Vietnam in 2019, before COVID became widespread, rose 16% from the previous year to an all-time high of 18 million.
China and South Korea were the two largest sources of visitors, accounting for nearly 60% of the total. Roughly 5.8 million visitors, a little more than 30%, came from China, while 4.2 million, more than 20%, were from South Korea. Japan ranked third at 950,000. Around 640,000 visited from Russia, which has long-standing ties with Vietnam.