Michael Tonge from the UK is the lucky traveller who was on the flight VN1815, and the next lucky tourists are Eva Lena Karlsson from Sweden and Andrej MarekBalzer from Germany. All of them received special souvenir gifts from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The southern province of Kien Giang welcomes the 10 millionth foreign visitor to Vietnam for the year of 2016 at Phu Quoc International Airport.
Michael Tonge expressed his surprise and pleasure at the warm welcome the province’s leaders and people had organised for him, adding that after his return to the UK, he will introduce Vietnam to his friends in Europe and suggest them should visit Vietnam.
The event is expected to become a hallmark in the tourism sector’s development in the process of intensive international integration as well as in the path towards becoming a key economic sector of the nation.
The event also marked an impressive growth of the tourism sector in 2016 with the large number of foreign arrivals mostly from Northeast Asia and Europe, higher than last year by two million. This figure was attributed to the Vietnam Government’s visa exemption for visitors from five European countries including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the country expects to welcome over 10 million international arrivals and serve more than 62 million domestic travelers this year, with total revenue estimated at 400 trillion VND (18 billion USD).
The 2016 National Tourism Year in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, themed “Discovering the Southern Land”, has opened a new development prospect for Kien Giang province and the Mekong Delta.
In 2016, an estimate of 5.4 million visitors arrived in Kien Giang, a year-on-year increase of 24% and 9.5% higher than the set plan. The number of foreign tourists has witnessed an increase of 31.4% compared to the same period last year and exceeded the set plan by 14%.
On January 1, 2017, Vietnam will begin issuing e-visa for foreign tourists.
In 2017, the tourism sector targets 11.5 million international visitors and 66 million domestic tourists, aiming for VND460,000 billion in revenue.
As such, the tourism sector has set goals of 11.5 million foreign visitors and revenue of 460 trillion VND (20.24 billion USD) next year.