Vietnamese cities among world’s top 100 foreign tourist destinations

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Source: Danny Iacob/Shutterstock

THREE Vietnamese cities are among the world’s top 100 travel destinations for international tourists, global business intelligence firm Euromonitor International said in its latest report.

Based on Euromonitor’s Top City Destinations Ranking report presented early this month at the World Travel Market event in London, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Ha Long are the three most-visited cities by international tourists arriving in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City was ranked 36th while capital Ha Noi and Ha Long claimed the 52nd and 56th spots, respectively.

Euromonitor projected that Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city, would attract 5.5 foreign visitors this year while Hanoi and Ha Long were seen to welcome 4.3 million and 4 million international tourists, respectively.

According to the report, Asian cities dominate the global destination rankings due to the rise of Chinese outbound tourism demand.

Hong Kong is the most visited city in the world, followed by Bangkok, which overtook London in 2015.

“Asia Pacific is the standout region driving change in travel. We expect the region to continue growing in the coming decade with Singapore overtaking London as the third most visited city in the world by 2025, giving the podium fully to Asia,” said Wouter Geerts, senior travel analyst at Euromonitor International.

Foreign visitor arrivals have been on the uptrend in Vietnam over recent years, driven by its beautiful natural landscape, rich heritage, pristine beaches, delicious food and friendly locals.

Staying in Vietnam is also relatively cheap compared to many other countries in the world.

In Asia, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are also among the cheapest cities for backpackers, according to travel website Price of Travel.

Hanoi was ranked third and Ho Chi Minh City fourth in Price of Travel’s Asia Backpacker Index for 2017.

A typical backpacker would shell out less than US$20 for accommodation, food, transportation, drinks and attractions for a daily stay in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city.

Many foreign tourists visit Vietnam for its famous Ha Long Bay, a Unesco heritage site.

Famous for its 2,000 magnificent limestone islands and numerous caves and grottos, the wonderful Ha Long Bay was twice recognized by Unesco as a natural world heritage site in 1994 and 2000, and also named one of the Seven Natural Wonders by the New 7 Wonders Foundation in 2011.

Data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) shows that Vietnam earned a total tourism revenue of VND400 trillion (around US$17.7 billion) last year, with more than 10 million foreigners visiting the country.

International tourist arrivals to the country in the first ten months of this year rose 28.1 percent from the year-ago period to 10.4 million, it added.