International tourism in Vietnam in the first quarter of 2023 showed signs of improvement. The number of foreign tourists to Vietnam in Q1 reached approximately 2.7 million arrivals, equal to nearly 80% of 2022 (3.4 million arrivals) thanks to the common recovery of the international tourism market, and China’s return.
There is a change in the largest inbound markets of Vietnam in 2023. Last year, the top 10 were South Korea, the US, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, and China, respectively.
This year, South Korea, the US, and Thailand remain top 3 nations with the most visitors to Vietnam, respectively. Korea led the ranking in the first quarter with more than 810.9 thousand visitors, followed by the US (206.8 thousand) and Thailand (145.1 thousand arrivals). In Q1 2023, the North East Asian markets including Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan are taking back the top source markets to Vietnam with 4 out of 6 positions.
Notably, among the source markets of Vietnam this year, the number of Chinese visitors in Q1 was nearly double the total number of 2022. Vietnam tourism expects visitors from this huge market will soon return a lot. However, to reach 5.8 million Chinese visitors in 2019, we need more efforts.
Although there was a significant increase in the number of tourists to Vietnam in Q1 2023, the Southeast Asian market experienced a decline in rankings. Only Thailand kept its 3rd position compared to last year. Cambodia moved from No.4 to No.9, Malaysia fell from No.5 to No.7, while Singapore left No.7 to rank at No.10.
Besides the two key inbound markets to Vietnam including North East Asia and South East Asia, the US market also emerged. For 2 consecutive years, the US maintains the No. 2 position, only after South Korea. Meanwhile, before the pandemic, in 2019, it only ranked 5th in the top of Vietnam’s inbound tourism market.
Q1 saw a significant growth in international tourism to Vietnam compared to 2022. Although it cannot reach the level of Q1 2019 (4.5 million visitors), it gives a brighter picture of Vietnam’s international market in the coming times.