Vietnam received more than 7.2 million foreign tourists the first 11 months of this year, a 5.4 percent increase over the same period last year.

Hong Kong (China) topped the list of countries in the number of visitors to Vietnam, with a surge of 161.2 percent, followed by Germany (151.3 percent) and Russia (125.2 percent).

Especially, the country witnessed a sudden rise in the number of arrivals from Russia, with nearly 50,900 people in November, up 340 percent against the previous month.

The figure is expected to continue growing in the time to come as many Russian travel agencies already booked tours to Vietnam, especially the southern central region and Phu Quoc Island in the south, by next April.

During the 11-month period, the tourism sector served 36.4 million domestic tourists, up 8.9 percent year-on-year.

Last year, Vietnam received 7.5 million international tourists, a 10.6 percent rise over 2012, contributing 200 trillion VND (9.4 billion USD) to the State budget, or accounting for approximately 6 percent of the country's GDP.

The country expects to welcome 8 million foreign and 37.5 million domestic tourists by the end of this year.-VNA