Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Vietnam’s Q1 travel grows 7%

International visitor arrivals to Vietnam for the first quarter of the year improved 7% to reach 4,500,114 visits.

During March the country registered 1,410,187 arrivals, up 5% over the same month last year.

Key takeaways from the first quarter lead off with Vietnam powering ahead on the back of substantial increases in Asian markets that supplied 3,390,392 visits up 7.5% in the first quarter.

Although China, the top supply market dominates with 1,281,073 visits, the performance slipped by 5.6% year-on-year, while second-placed Korea is narrowing the gap with 1,107,794 visits and clocking a growth rate of 24.1%.  If the two markets continue to perform this way, Korea could become Vietnam’s lead market when half-year results are announced.

Third-placed Japan, always a stable market for Vietnam, recorded 233,335 visits in the first quarter an increase of 8.3%

Taiwan also traditionally a strong source market for Vietnam in sixth place delivered 207 095 visits up by a remarkable 26%.

But there are other positive indicators that show emerging markets in Asia are performing better for Vietnam possibly due to the increase in low-cost airline services and visa-free entry.

Malaysia supplied 143,629 visits up 11.1%, while travel from Thailand with 124,558 visits improved 49.3% driven by a spike in low-cost flights and additional routes serving resort destinations.

An equally impressive growth rate of 24% generated 42,128 visits from the Philippines a relatively new market for Vietnam. All told six Asian markets registered double-digit growth. The odd-man-out, Singapore, generated 68,259 visits in the first quarter a marginal improvement of 0.7%.

Outside of Asia, the US continued as the fourth top supply market with 219,700 visits up 7% while in Europe Russia, in fifth place, delivered 215,618 visits an improvement of 6.2%

The bright spots in Europe included Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Italy all reporting double-digit growth rates, albeit on lower volumes when compared with traditional markets, the UK and France both up by 4% and Germany up 6%.

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