The number of Vietnamese tourists to Thailand has jumped 10-fold in the past 12 years, rewarding the efforts of the Thai Government to attract more Vietnamese visitors.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand's HCM City office, more than 530,000 Vietnamese visited Thailand in the first 10 months of this year. In 2000 the number had been a mere 57,000.

Vietnam is the 13th largest tourism market for Thailand . Vietnamese tourists are fairly big spenders in Thailand , said Chutathip Chareonlarp, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in HCM City.
Last year it was estimated that 430,000 Vietnamese tourists spent 13.68 billion THB (446 million USD) in Thailand .

Though the figures for 2012 have not been calculated yet, with tourist arrivals rising by 20-30 percent, the amount could top 500 million USD.

The average length of stay of a Vietnamese tourist was 6.04 days last year, with an average daily expenditure of 4,035 THB.

The rate of repeat visitors was reported at around 60 percent.
Thailand has the advantage of low prices and plenty of tourist attractions and entertainment options, and its Tourism Authority actively organises familiarisation trips for media agencies in Vietnam.

The top five destinations for Vietnamese visitors are Bangkok , Pattaya, Phuket, Kanchanaburi, and Udon Thani. Destinations gaining popularity include the northeastern region, Samui Island , and Phuket.

Bangkok has been rated the world's second best city for tourist shopping and third best in terms of value for money by 75,000 travellers covering 40 cities on travel site TripAdvisor.

This year Thailand hopes to get more than 20 million foreign visitors, up from just 16 million two years ago. China , Malaysia , Japan , and Russia are its biggest markets.-VNA