Vietnam ranked seventh mong the world’s 20 fastest growing travel destinations with a growth rate of 24.6 percent in 2016 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam was recently listed among the world’s 20 fastest growing travel destinations by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

The Southeast Asian country ranked seventh with a growth rate of 24.6 percent based on the number of foreign tourist arrivals in 2016.

West African nation Sierra Leone topped the list, seeing a steep rise of 310 percent in 2016 over the previous year.

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According to the Vietnamese General Statistics Office, international arrivals to Vietnam in the first half of this year reached more than 6.2 million, representing a rise of 30.2 percent over the same period last year.

They mainly came from Asia, which accounted for 72.7 percent, followed by Europe (15.8 percent).

Vietnam has set target of developing tourism into a spearhead industry, targeting 17-20 million international tourist arrivals by 2020, earning 35 billion USD and contributing more than 10 percent to the gross domestic product.-VNA