Vietnam has topped the list as Asia’s fastest growing tourism destinations for the first four months of the year, the United Nations revealed recently.
According to the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) latest World Tourism Barometer, the Southeast Asian country’s year-on-year growth in visitor numbers, in the first four months of 2017, stood at a staggering 31.2 percent.
In Asia and the Pacific, international arrivals were up six percent through April with sound results across all four subregions. In the Asian region, South Asia led growth at 14 percent, followed by Oceania at seven percent, South-East Asia at 6 percent, and North-East Asia at 5 percent.
Destinations worldwide received 369 million international tourists, or overnight visitors, in the first four months of the year, six percent or 21 million more than in the same months of 2016.
Overall, international arrivals reported by destinations around the world were positive, with very few exceptions, the UNWTO said.
“Destinations that were affected by negative events during 2016 are showing clear signs of recovery in a very short period of time, and this is very welcoming news for all, but particularly for those whose livelihoods depend on tourism in these destinations”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
“As we celebrate 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, we welcome the continued development of tourism and recall that with growth comes increased responsibility to ensure tourism can contribute to sustainability in all its three pillars – economic, social and environmental. Growth is never the enemy and it is our responsibility to manage it in a sustainable manner,” he added.
The UNWTO said the January-April period usually represents some 28 percent of the yearly total and covers the winter season of the Northern Hemisphere and the summer season of the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the Chinese New Year and Easter holidays, among others.
It said most of 2016’s strong performers maintained momentum, while destinations that struggled in previous years continued to rebound in the first part of 2017. This is especially reflected in the better results of the Middle East (10 percent), Africa (8 percent) and Europe (6 percent), Asia and the Pacific (6 percent) and the Americas (4 percent) continued to enjoy robust growth.
This, the UNWTO said, is especially reflected in the better results of the Middle East (10 percent), Africa (8 percent) and Europe (6 percent), Asia and the Pacific (6 percent) and the Americas (4 percent) continued to enjoy robust growth.