Foreign arrivals to Vietnam top 6.7 mln in five months hinh anh 1Foreign tourists in Hoi An ancient town, Quang Nam province (Source:VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
Foreign arrivals to Vietnam surpassed 6.7 million in the five months this year, up 27.6 percent annually, according to the General Statistics Office on May 29.

In May alone, the figure topped 1.16 million, down 13.5 percent month-on-month.

The number of Asian tourists hit over 5 million in five months, up 33.3 percent while those from China was up 37 percent, the Republic of Korea (62.1 percent), Japan (6.6 percent), Malaysia (12.5 percent), Thailand (9.1 percent), Singapore (5.4 percent).

Meanwhile, the number of European visitors rose by 11.8 percent year-on-year, including those from Russia (up 9.2 percent), France (13.1 percent), the UK (9.6 percent), Germany (8.5 percent), Italy (18.3 percent). Visitors from America and Oceania were up 13.8 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively.

Major tourist localities saw a surge in tourist arrivals. The central city of Da Nang welcomed over 3.2 million visitors, up 30.4 percent year-on-year, including more than 1.35 million foreigners, or a rise of 51.3 percent.

The central province of Khanh Hoa served more than 2.44 million holidaymakers in the period, marking a 20.75 percent rise, over 1.17 million of them were foreigners, surging nearly 50 percent.

In May, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Japanese embassy in Vietnam held a seminar to boost exchange of tourists between the two countries.

Last year, around 800,000 Japanese people arrived in Vietnam while 300,000 Vietnamese landed in Japan. At present, almost all Vietnam’s lodging facilities and flight services could serve Japanese visitors, even during the peak season.

However, Vietnam still lacks tour guides proficient in Japanese language, especially in the central region. Moreover, Japanese tourists often stay in Vietnam for short time so that Vietnam’s tourism sector needs to offer new products to satisfy their demand.

The Vietnam Society of Travel Agents proposed Japan loosen visa policy, especially for groups of tourists from major travel agencies.-VNA