2019 was a bumper year for tourism in Vietnam, as a surge in interest on the international stage was reflected by a spate of awards and more foreign tourist arrivals than ever before. Meeting its targets and smashing the previous record, Vietnam welcomed more than 18 million arrivals last year.
According to the latest figures released by the General Statistics Office, Vietnam recorded a near-constant increase month-on-month in the number of international guests, kicking off the year with 1.5 million arrivals in January and ascending to a record 1.8 million monthly visitors by the end of the year.
The end of the year pushed Vietnam over the finish line, with a particular boom in arrivals around October and November, when the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism recorded spikes in arrivals to the tune of 13% and 11%, respectively.
The numbers are particularly impressive when compared to average global rates of growth in the tourism industry. Statistics from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) show that in the first six months of 2019, international visitors worldwide grew by 4%, while Southeast Asia performed slightly better as a region, with a 5% improvement.
Vietnam’s frontrunner status was confirmed in 2019 by its burgeoning trophy cabinet. The nation won awards including World’s Leading Cultural Destination, World’s Leading Destination, World’s Leading Tourist Board (for Vietnam National Administration of Tourism), World’s Leading City Destination (Hanoi), World’s Leading Culinary Destination, and World’s Leading Cultural City Destination (Hoi An).
At the regional World Tourism Awards (WTA), hosted in Phu Quoc last October, Vietnam swept up the awards for Asia’s Leading Destination, Asia’s Leading Cultural Destination, Asia’s Leading Culinary Destination, and Asia’s Leading Cultural City Destination (Hoi An). The accolades continued to flow in November, when Vietnam was honoured as the World’s Leading Heritage Destination at the international finals of WTA 2019 in Muscat, Oman.
Several destinations were also highlighted for special acclaim in 2019, namely Ha Long Bay and Da Nang, which were nominated as World’s Leading Tourist Attraction and World’s Leading Festival & Events Destination, respectively.
The growing reputation of Vietnam’s hotels and hospitality sector was illustrated by 23 international award nominations for properties such as Six Senses Con Dao, Intercontinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort, Anantara Quy Nhon and The Grand Ho Tram Strip. At the World Golf Awards 2019, Vietnam was also named the World’s Best Golf Destination for the first time and Asia’s Best Golf Destination for the third year in a row.
With more recognition – and visitors – than ever before, Vietnam can look back on 2019 as the year the world took notice. With so many cultural, historic, natural and culinary attractions left to share with its growing number of admirers all over the world, the nation is expecting 2020 to be another year to remember.