Illustrative image (Source :VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam welcomed over 1.63 million foreign tourists in the first two months of 2016, up16 percent compared to the same period last year, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on February 24.

According to statistic, international arrivals to the country climbed sharply in some markets such as Hong Kong, China and the Republic of Korea (RoK) with 169.9 percent, 48.8 percent, and 31 percent, respectively.

Visitors from Western Europe markets that are eligible for a 15 day visa exemption surged in the reviewed period such as Italy (25.6 percent), the UK (19.6 percent), Spain (17.1 percent) and Germany (14.4 percent).

Likewise, domestic tourism enjoyed a good growth with 14.2 million holiday-makers recorded in the same period and a revenue of 80 trillion VND (3.66 billion USD) , an increase of 19 percent year-on-year.

Notably, tourism in the capital city of Hanoi saw positive signs from January to February with a year-on-year surge of 28 percent in the number of visitors, especially from Thailand, China, RoK and Malaysia.

Director of the municipal Tourism Department Do Dinh Hong said the city aims to attract 22 million arrivals in 2016 , and earn 60 trillion VND (2.72 million USD) from the sector, up 8 percent compared with 2015.

Hong added the city will proactively carry out tourism promotion activities aboard in order to attract more foreign tourists.

Hanoi, together with the Northwest , Central Highlands and South Central regions is selected as the country’s tourism destination 2016 at the Vietnam International Travel Mart 2016 which is scheduled for April this year.-VNA