Tourists to Vietnam 2006: lower number of tourists, but higher turnover
The number of foreign tourists coming to Vietnam decreased in 2006 over the previous year, according to the General Statistics Office; however, the total turnover from tourists in 2006 was higher than in 2005.
The number of foreign tourists coming to Vietnam in December was higher than the average number in the previous 11 months (325,000 and 296,000), and an increase of 6.2% over November – an encouraging result. However, the total number of foreign travellers coming to Viet nam was low in 2006, if considering three aspects.
First, the number proved to be lower than the targeted plan and lower than expected. High hopes were put on Vietnam’s tourism in the year, when many important events took place in the country.
Second, the growth rate in 2006 over 2005 was lower than the average growth rate of the five previous years (3% and 10.2%)
Third, the proportion of number of tourists on the population is lower than the proportion declared by many other countries. The total number of foreign travellers coming to Vietnam in 2006 was lower than the number of travellers to other countries several years ago (ranks fifth in the region, 13th in Asia, and 44th in the world).
There are many reasons behind the low increase of foreign tourists to Vietnam in the last year. The percentage of travellers coming to Viet nam for tourism purposes was high (57.7% of total comers), but just saw a low growth rate (1.5%). This shows that shortcomings exist in marketing and promoting tourism. Meanwhile, the travellers coming for other purposes (making investment, doing business, visiting relatives) saw a sharp decrease in 2006 (by 13.1%).
If classifying travellers by countries and territories, the number of travellers from neighbouring countries, which were high in previous years, decreased sharply in 2006. The numbers of tourists from China saw a decrease of 28% (201,000), from Cambodia, 22%, Laos, 20.5%, and the Philippines (13.6%).
Though the number of travellers was low last year, many of them arrived from countries with high living standards, and they spent a lot in Vietnam. On average, a tourist spends $76.4 for one day of staying in Vietnam (the figure was $74.8 in 2005). Tourists from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and France had spending levels higher than the average level.
On average, a foreign tourist stays in Vietnam for 16.8 days, higher than the previous year’s level of 13.8 days (tourists from Russia, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Germany, the US, Belgium, Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, and New Zealand had longer stays).
The average spending of every foreign tourist in Vietnam was $1,283.3, higher than the previous year’s level of $1,032.2. Australian, Canadian, American, German, French, New Zealand, Belgian, Russian, and Italian tourists had the highest spending levels.
The proportion of foreign tourists in the population of Vietnam in 2006 was 4.3%, while the world’s average level was 10.9%. There are 35 countries and territories that have the proportion at 100% (foreign tourists are more than population), including the Bahamas (1.6mil tourists/0.3mil of population), Hong Kong (21.8mil/6.8mil), Macau (8.3mil/0.4mil), Brunei (1mil/0.4mil) and Singapore (8.4mil/4.2mil).
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