Vietnam welcomed 2.9 million foreign arrivals in the first five months of this year, representing a decrease of 1.4 percent against the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office.

The number of arrivals to Vietnam by air was down by 3.4 percent, while those travelling by land and sea routes increased by 9 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

China , the Republic of Korea , Australia , and Russia were the markets seeing high number of arrivals to Vietnam , while the markets of Japan , the US and Taiwan saw a decline compared to the same period last year.

T he decrease was attributed to the impacts of the global economic downturn that led caution in business of investors and spending on tourism among people.

Quality of tourism services was also blamed for hindering the promotion of Vietnamese image to international friends.-VNA