Foreign tourists take photos in Don village, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The number of foreign tourists to Vietnam in the first six months of 2018 surged 27.2 percent year-on-year to 7.89 million, the General Statistics Office announced on June 29.

Arrivals by air, road, and sea in the reviewed period recorded annual increases of 22.2 percent, 63.7 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Growth was also seen in the numbers of visitors from all five continents, with Asia (32.7 percent), Europe (11 percent), America (13.5 percent), Oceania (10 percent) and Africa (22.2 percent).

The results were attributed to efforts taken by the tourism sector, especially in tourism promotion abroad.

Most recently, a tourism promotion programme was organised in the four European countries of Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic from June 19-28.

Notably, this was the first time Vietnamese tourism has been promoted in Hungary, which reported a rise of 30 percent in the number of visitors to Vietnam in 2017.

A series of activities have been also organised in Seoul, Daejeon, Daegu and Busan cities of the Republic of Korea from June 18-25. Last year, Vietnam welcomed 2.4 million Korean tourists, up 56.4 percent from the previous year. In the first half of this year, over 1.7 million Korean visitors travelled to Vietnam, soaring 60.7 percent annually.

From July 1, tourists from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy will enjoy visa exemptions in the next three years until June 30, 2021, when travelling to Vietnam.

The continued visa exemption is expected to push up the development of the Vietnamese tourism sector.

The number of tourists from these countries to Vietnam soared in recent years, with 720,000 in 2015, 855,000 in 2016, and 1,500,000 in 2017.

From September 25 to October 7, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism plans to hold tourism promotion activities in France, Spain, Italy and Germany in order to attract more tourists from these markets.-VNA