International visitors to Vietnam rise 20 per cent in 2011
Hanoi - The number of foreigners visiting Vietnam increased nearly 20 per cent from the same period last year as the global tourism industry saw a recovery, authorities said Tuesday.
Vietnam held a ceremony to welcome its 6 millionth international visitor, Frenchman Curvalle Barnard Francois, on Monday, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said. Last year the country attracted more than 5 million foreign visitors.
'The number of international visitors increased sharply in recent months thanks to floods in Thailand and social unrest in North Africa,' agency director Nguyen Manh Cuong said. 'Visitors choose Vietnam as a safer place to see.'
The country's tourism revenue reached nearly 6.2 billion dollars this year, compared to 4.6 billion in 2010.
The tourism industry contributed nearly 5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year compared with 3.9 per cent last year.
Vietnam predicts 10 million international visitors and 33 billion dollars in tourism revenue, or 13.1 per cent of GDP, in 2020.
Deutsche Presse Agentur - December 27, 2011