The Saigontourist Travel Service Company welcomed 3,650 tourists from Germany, Japan and China to Vietnam on luxury vessels during the Tet holiday. Foreign tourists can learn more about Vietnamese culture, lifestyle and Tet holiday traditions in Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces through visits to Vinh Trang Pagoda, Giac Lam Pagoda, a girdle cake, coconut candy, and Minh Long ceramic factories, Cai Be floating market and old houses. When visiting the southeast, tourists have good opportunity to enjoy fresh fruits and specialties of the region.
It is estimated that during the Tet holiday, Vietravel Company served 18,000-20,000 tourists from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, the US and European countries (an increase of 40 percent compared to the same period of last year).
According to the General Statistics Office, with 270,000 tourists, the number of tourists to Vietnam in January 2011 equaled a record, with a 4.3 percent increase compared to the same period of 2010 with 90,000 tourists coming to Vietnam on business trips, 13 percent up compared to the same month of last year, 60,000 tourists visiting relatives in Vietnam (an increase of 13.4 percent) and 50,000 tourists arriving in Vietnam for other purposes, equaling an increase of 25.1 percent.
Noticeably, tourist number from most of the markets increased in January 2011. Cambodia is the market which saw the highest increase of 41.2 percent, followed by France 31.7 percent, Chinese Taipei 29 percent, China 17.1 percent, Japan 10.9 percent, the US 6.4 percent, Republic of Korea 4.6 percent, and Malaysia 2.6 percent compared to in 2010. The General Statistics Office emphasized that a large number of Russian tourists visited Vietnam instead of Egypt, their traditional destination, despite Vietnam tours costing some 15-20 percent more than Egypt.
According to experts, Vietnam will continue to see an increase in the number of tourists in the next months. They have many reasons to be optimistic about the future of Vietnam travel. This year, Vietnam will focus on two large events including the National Tourism Year held in the south central coastal province of Phu Yen and the 7th International Tourism Fair held in Ho Chi Minh City from September 14-19. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has launched a number of advertising programs for the two events. In the coming time, the two events will continue to be promoted in potential markets of China, Eastern European countries and Northwestern Asian countries. With the implementation of tourism promotion projects in France, Thailand, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Russia, Vietnam will become a familiar destination to many foreign tourists.