In the first half of 2023, Vietnam welcomed over 5.6 million foreign visitors, an increase of 282% compared to the same period in 2022. This achievement has put Vietnam on track to exceed its target of welcoming 8 million foreign visitors in 2023.
VNAT announced that the country welcomed 975,000 international visitors in June 2023, up 6.4% from the previous month. This brings the total number of international visitors to Vietnam in the first six months of the year to nearly 5.6 million, reaching 69% of the target set for 2023 and recovering 66% compared to the level of 2019.
Domestic tourism also saw strong growth in June, with 13.5 million visitors, including 9 million with overnight stays. The total number of domestic visitors in the first two quarters of the year reached 64 million.
The total receipt from tourists in the first six months of the year is estimated at VND 343.1 trillion, up 29.4% compared to the same period last year.
Source Markets: remain from Asia regions
The Republic of Korea (RoK) remains the largest market for Vietnamese tourism, with 1.6 million tourist arrivals in the first half of 2023. This accounts for 28% of total international visitors to Vietnam. China is the second largest market, which used to be the main source of tourists for Vietnam before the pandemic, but only recovered 22% after group tours were allowed again from March 15. The US is the third largest market, recovering 95% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Among the top 10 source markets, four are from Northeast Asia: Republic of Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan. Three are from Southeast Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia. Australia and India ranked ninth and tenth, respectively.
In Europe, the top three source markets are the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Russia also had a significant number of visitors, with 62,000 in the first six months of the year.
In June 2023, the United States had the best growth rate among markets, with 66,000 visitors, up 52% from May 2023. China and South Korea also continued to grow, with increases of 7.8% and 15%, respectively.
Other markets that saw significant growth in June include India (37.8%), Singapore (48%), Taiwan (21%), and the Philippines (10%). However, there were also some markets that saw a decrease in visitors compared to May 2023, including Thailand (-19.7%), Indonesia (-25.4%), Japan (-15.6%), France (-41%), Germany (-20.3%), the United Kingdom (-15.6%), and Australia (-20.6%).
Cambodia and India, fastest recovering markets
Vietnam has seen a surge in tourism from Cambodia, which has recovered 338% from before the pandemic in the first six months of this year. India is the second-fastest recovering market with 236% growth. Other Southeast Asian countries like Laos, Thailand and Singapore also increased their visits to Vietnam.
With this impressive growth, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism expects that the tourism industry is likely to exceed its target of welcoming eight million foreign visitors in 2023. This expectation is further supported by the recent decision of the National Assembly to extend the e-visa validity from 30 to 90 days. This allows foreigners with an e-visa to enter and exit an unlimited number of times within 90 days without having to obtain a new visa. Additionally, citizens of countries unilaterally exempted from visas by Vietnam will be granted temporary residence for 45 days (up from 15 days) and can be considered for visa issuance and temporary residence extension according to regulations. These new policies are expected to help attract a large number of international visitors during the peak season starting around September.