Foreign tourists visit Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Vietnam is striving to achieve its goal of welcoming 17.5 – 18 million international tourists by the end of 2019, a year earlier than scheduled.

The tourism sector aims to greet 17 – 20 million foreign visitors by 2020 as targeted under the Poliburo’s Resolution No.8-NQ/TW on developing tourism into a spearhead economy.

It also looks to serve 85 million domestic tourists in 2019 and gross nearly 700 trillion VND (30.1 billion USD) in revenue.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the number of international visitors to Vietnam in the first six months of 2019 was estimated at 8.5 million, up 7.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

In January-June, the tourism sector grossed 338.2 trillion VND (14.5 billion USD) in revenue, a year-on-year rise of 8.4 percent.

Vu Quoc Tri, Chief of the VNAT’s Office, said Asian tourists made up 77 percent of total international visitors to Vietnam, up 8.2 percent year-on-year.

Thailand reported remarkable growth with 245,000 holidaymakers visiting Vietnam, up 45.5 percent, and was among the top 10 markets for visitor numbers.

Exchanges of visitors between Vietnam and Thailand have become stronger in recent years thanks to the launch of many direct flights between the two countries.

The number of visitors to Vietnam from Indonesia rose by 22 percent and the Philippines 20.4 percent.

In the remainder of 2019, the tourism sector will continue promoting tourism in key markets such as China, the Republic of Korea, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, and Europe while maintaining growth in other markets like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia, the US, Western Europe and Australia.-VNA