Tourists visit Nha Trang resort city (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Tourism has become an important pillar for Vietnam’s economic growth, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) under the UK-based Economist Group.

The EIU suggested the Vietnamese Government invest in transport infrastructure and handle environmental problems to ensure sustainable growth.

The unit quoted data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showing the number of foreign visitors to the Southeast Asian country surged sharply in 2016.

In the first 11 months of this year, Vietnam welcomed over 9 million overseas tourists, representing a year-on-year increase of more than 25 percent.

In November alone, the country welcomed about 920,000 foreign guests, up 14 percent against the previous month.

Apart from job generation, the tourism industry also spurred retail sales and other service sectors.

The EIU attributed the positive growth to the 15-day visa exemption policy for citizens from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which runs from June 2015 to June 2017.

According to the World Tourism and Travel Council, tourism contributed 6.6 percent to Vietnam’s gross domestic product in 2015. The proportion will touch 15.2 percent in 2016./.