Vietnam welcomes over 6.33 million foreign tourists in 10 months hinh anh 1Tourists to the Rung Sac-Can Gio eco-tourism area in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)Foreign arrivals to Vietnam reached more than 6.33 million in the first ten months of this year, a decrease of 4.1 percent year-on-year, announced the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) on November 3.

In October, the number of foreign visitors to the country increased 3.6 percent against the previous month and 16.1 percent compared to the same month last year.

Tourist growth was seen in markets with visa exemptions, high spending and long stays such as the Republic of Korea, up 30.7 percent; Hong Kong, 28 percent; Singapore, 16.9 percent; Spain, 9.8 percent; Finland, 9.1 percent; and the US, 7.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Cambodia posted a decrease of 43.9 percent in the number of holidaymakers to Vietnam, followed by Thailand and Laos with respective year-on-year drops of 22.9 percent and 22.2 percent.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City tourism has seen encouraging results over the past months. In the first three quarters, the capital posted a 13 percent year-on-year increase in the number of foreign tourists and a 10 percent annual rise in tourism revenue. The southern economic hub estimated to receive over 3.63 million visitors in the first ten months, up 4.6 percent year-on-year and fulfilling 77 percent of the yearly target.

During the 10-month period, the central province of Binh Thuan welcomed 363,510 international arrivals, up 12.3 percent against the same period last year, while more than 750,000 domestic and foreign tourists visited Phu Quoc island in the southern province of Kien Giang, marking a year-on-year increase of 44 percent.

In the remaining months of 2015, the Vietnamese tourism sector will carry out a range of measures to lure vacationers, including promotion programmes abroad. At present, Vietnam is attending the World Tourism Market (WTM) in the UK from November 2-5 and will take part in a tourism fair in Chengdu city, China this December.

To attract tourists from European markets which enjoy visa exemptions, the VNAT will organise programmes introducing the Vietnamese tourism in France, Germany, Spain and Belarus as well as welcome business and journalist delegations from these countries to explore Vietnam’s tourism.

The local tourism potential will be introduced in Singapore and Hong Kong as they are the largest tourist transit centres in Asia.

A new regulation on passport and visa fees, which will take effect on November 23, is expected to lure more foreign holidaymakers to the country. Accordingly, a single-entry visa fee will be cut down from 45 USD to 25 USD and for a multi-entry visa valid for three months, the fee will be 50 USD instead of the current 95 USD.-VNA