Vietnam welcomed around 2.96 million international tourists in the first half of this year, a year-on-year increase of 18.1 percent, the General Statistics Office reported.

Nearly 1.77 million foreign visitors came for a holiday, up 11.2 percent over the same period last year, while about 493,000 came for business purposes, down 1.7 percent, and 513,000 arrived to visit relatives, surging by 77.6 percent.

Tourists going by plane amounted to 2.5 million, beating last year's figure by 23.8 percent, while visitors travelling by sea and land dropped by 15.2 and 4.5 percent, respectively./.