13 million foreigners spend holidays in Vietnam in 2017 hinh anh 1Visitors to Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – About 13 million foreigners chose Vietnam as their holiday destination in 2017, which is considered a record of the tourism sector and marked a year-on-year rise of nearly 3 million in the number of foreign visitors for the first time.

Meanwhile, the sector served 73.2 million domestic tourists. It earned 510.9 trillion VND (22.5 billion USD) from visitors this year, according to statistics unveiled at a meeting of the State steering committee for tourism in Hanoi on December 26.

Local tourism accommodation has been developed, surpassing 25,000 establishments with more than 500,000 rooms. There are now 116 five-star hotels with over 33,000 rooms, 259 four-star hotels, and 488 three-star hotels nationwide.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) reported that the tourism sector successfully fulfilled the target of 30-percent rise in the number of foreign visitors.

While promotion activities have been enhanced and reformed, the sector has also attracted much social investment in tourism, especially the high-end segment. Many localities have made efforts to attract investment in tourism and develop tourism products. 

Vietnam has also won a number of tourism awards and titles in 2017, which helped promote the country’s image during integration into the world, the ministry noted.

The MCST also admitted certain shortcomings in the industry, including limited services at some tourism areas, low competitiveness, a shortage of strong tourism brand names, and flaws in ensuring security and safety for tourists at some places of interest.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the State steering committee for tourism, applauded the 30-percent increase in the foreign tourist number, noting that more attention should be paid to quality.

He asked the tourism sector to improve products, accommodation facilities, manpower, as well as museum and theme parks, while devising appropriate strategies and plans. It must successfully carry out the plan on restructuring the tourism sector so as to develop tourism into a spearhead economic industry.-VNA