Foreign arrivals in Vietnam slid 11.3 percent in the first half of this year to reach over 3.8 million due to the looming MERS-CoV threat and downfall from the struggling Russian market.

According to General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Van Tuan, the number of inbound tourists is estimated at 40 million, generating 190 trillion VND (8.75 billion USD) in revenue, up 1.7 percent annually.

Since the tourism stimulus programme “Vietnamese people travel across Vietnam” was launched by the VNAT five months ago, domestic visitors to localities were on the rise, which offset earnings generated by foreign travellers, said Vietravel Hanoi’s inbound department head Pham Van Bay.

During the period, 2.2 million visitors arrived in the central coastal city of Da Nang, 1.6 million of them are Vietnamese, representing respective rises of 24.9 percent and 22 percent.-VNA