The tourism sector maintained good growth in the first seven months of 2014 despite a fall in the number of Chinese-spoken tourists, according to the National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

As of the end of July, the number of foreign arrivals to Vietnam rose by 15.6 percent year on year, the administration reported, taking note of remarkable decreases in the number of visitors from such markets as Malaysia (down 36.2 percent), Indonesia (35.8 percent), China (28.8 percent), Hong Kong (27.4 percent), and Taiwan (15.7 percent).

The result was attributable to the sector’s efforts to reach out to new markets and boost domestic travel, which culminated in a 6.7 percent rise year on year in the domestic visitor number to 27.2 million.

Over the period, tourism revenue was posted at 142.4 trillion VND (6.78 billion USD), up 21.2 percent from the same period last year, it said.

The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, home to the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay, saw more than 5.2 million visitors coming to its places of interest, including about 1.46 million foreigners. Its tourism revenue rose by 6 percent from a year before.

Khanh Hoa province, a tourism hub in the southern central region, welcomed more than 2 million tourist arrivals, up 24 percent yearly. The number of foreigners to the locality soared by nearly 33 percent year on year.

Some 2.4 million visitors came to Ho Chi Minh City in the seven months, generating revenues of around 52 trillion VND (over 2.47 billion USD). The figures climbed by 9.1 percent and 8.5 percent against the corresponding period last year, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, which owns popular destinations such as Phu Quoc island and Ha Tien township greeted over 2.4 million visitors, reaching 60 percent of its annual target.-VNA