Vietnam National Tourism Administration, reporting on the six-month performance, quoted Government Statistics Office data that showed 7,891,530 arrivals registered at air, land and sea international border checkpoints.

During June, the count reached 1,183,102 arrivals, an increase of 1.9% over May and 24.6% over June, last year.

Vietnam appears to be right on target to reach the 15.5 million mark, this year, based on its first half-year performance.

In 2017, the country welcomed 12.9 million visitors, up 29.1%.

As expected China is the pivotal market that can ensure an on-target performance this year. Over the six months it delivered 2,568,842 visitors, an impressive 36.1% gain.

Barring a political, or social pushback against the flood of Chinese tour groups, the forecast is positive even during the monsoon season.

An emerging Indonesian market saw a substantial 72.9% improvement in arrivals during June alone (9,671) albeit on a low-base when compared with June 2017.

But it indicates the presence of a potentially strong market that Vietnam could develop probably through low-cost airlines.

Vietnam’s challenge is to build arrivals from secondary markets beyond the big-five suppliers and develop a positive environment and services to encourage Muslim tourists, particularly from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Asia dominates the count during the first half of the year, supplying 6,067,235 arrivals, up by an impressive 32.7%. The second largest market Europe totalled 1,067,489 visits, up 11%.

There are no surprises in the list of the top five suppliers over the first six months.

China leads with 2,568,842, up 36.1%, Korea second with 1,713,604, up by a massive 60%, Japan 404,012, up 6.6%, USA 369,641, up 15.4% and Taiwan 338,956, up 13.8%.

Other notable supply markets are: Russia 338,393 (+ 7.9%); Malaysia 265,109 (+14.5%); Thailand 168,759 (+ 10.7%); UK 158,048 (+ 9.0%) and France 153,298 (+ 12.6%).

By Don Ross - TTR Weekly - July 6, 2018