Tourists at Hoi An ancient town (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s tourism sector has made new records in 2016, said Nguyen Van Tuan, Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism at a press conference on December 22 in Hanoi.

According to Tuan, one of the records is the number of 10 million international tourist arrivals, up 25 percent against last year (or two million), making the highest thus far.

The ten-millionth foreign visitor to Vietnam will land Phu Quoc international airport in the southern coastal province of Kien Giang on December 25.

The sector also served 62 million domestic tourists and earned total revenues of 400 trillion VND (18 billion USD).

Such figures showed that the sector in 2016 has reached the goals set for 2020 under the Strategy for Vietnamese tourism development in 2020 with a vision to 2030.

According to the tourism administration, most of foreign tourist groups to Vietnam increased in 2016.

To date, Northeast Asian visitors have topped the list, especially those from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK). They together made up 30 percent of international tourists in 2016.

The number of Western European travellers to Vietnam also experienced a soar, including those from Italy, the UK, France, Germany and Spain, which are benefiting from Vietnam’s visa exemption policy.

By the end of October this year, as many as 635,000 tourists from those markets arrived in Vietnam, an increase of 16 percent compared to the same period last year. Of the figure, the Italian market upped 30 percent, Spain and the UK ones jumped by 27 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

Russia is the Vietnamese tourism sector’s biggest European market with a growth of 27 percent, while small – scale ones such as the Netherlands and Sweden also enjoyed a significant rise.

In 2017, the country’s tourism aims to lure 11.5 million international tourists and serve 66 million domestic visitors, earning 460 trillion VND (20.24 billion USD) in revenue.-VNA