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Vietnam on track to achieve full year tourism growth

A territorial dispute between China and Vietnam has led to a decline in the number of people from China travelling to Vietnam. Despite this decline from Vietnam's largest source market, growth in other markets like Russia, Japan and South Korea leaves Vietnam on course to meet its target of 8 million international arrivals in 2014.

Vietnam on track to achieve full year tourism growth

A recent report on the number of people travelling to Vietnam indicates that the South East Asian country is on track to achieve full year growth. Tourism officials in Vietnam will likely be breathing a sigh of relief as the country’s tourism industry is currently taking a hit from a decline in visitors from China - Vietnams largest source market.

An on going territorial dispute between China and Vietnam over the Paracel Islands has led to dramatic reduction in the number of Chinese travellers visiting Vietnam which was down by 12.3 per cent in September 2014. As a result of the dispute, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) reported four months of decline in international arrivals to Vietnam since June. The number of international arrivals in September was 4 per cent down when compared to the same month last year with 590,881 visitors.

Despite the decline in arrivals from China, there has been notable growth from other key source markets, namely South Korea (up by 19.4 per cent), Japan (up by 7.1 per cent) and Russia (up by 44.7 per cent) and there was little change in the arrivals from the US, Australia and France. The cumulative effect of the trends observed in these source markets outside of China in the past four months in addition to the overall performance of the tourism industry during the first nine months of the year for the means that Vietnam remains on track for strong growth in 2014. VNAT has set a target of 8 million international arrivals in 2014.

During the period of January to September, Vietnam welcomed as many as 6.06 million visitors- a significant 10.4 per cent increase year-on-year. According to Nguyen Van Tuan, the director general of VNAT, 3.65 million of these visitors came to enjoy their holidays in Vietnam while the remaining travellers booked their flights to Vietnam for business purposes or to visit family.

Vietnam is one of the most popular South East Asian holiday destinations. The country was recently named by travel search site Skyscanner as the second best value for money holiday destinations; neighbouring Cambodia took the top spot.

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