Is Vietnam the New Thailand for Tourists?

As Thailand continues to set new economic goals from tourism, its neighbour to the east is also hitting record levels, causing some travel experts to wonder if Vietnam is the next Thailand for tourism. Thailand enjoyed unprecedented popularity among foreign tourists in the 1980’s, 90’s and 2000’s, but Vietnam is rapidly becoming the number one choice in Southeast Asian destinations for many foreign tourists.

The Numbers Look Good

Tourism was up 16.2% for Vietnam in 2019 according to the General Statistics Office, with over 18 million international tourists. 

The country is attracting an increasing number of global travelers
The largest increase of travelers came from other Asian countries. Asia accounted for almost 80% of the total arrivals into Vietnam, up over 19% from the previous year. African arrivals were up over 12%, US visitors increased by 7.7% and European travelers rose by 6.4%. 

In addition to international arrivals, Vietnam’s travel industry also handled 85 million domestic tourists in 2019. That was up 6% over the previous year.

Where to From Here

In 2020 the country has ambitious but attainable goals. It hopes to attract 20.5 million international travelers, and 90 million domestic tourists. The total revenue is expected to surpass 830 trillion VND or $35.9 billion USD.

Vietnam is a beautiful country with a lot of offer. It has beaches, nightlife, culture, history, a long culinary tradition and more, so its not hard to see why the country is attracting this much attention. Is Vietnam the new Thailand for tourism and will it become the largest tourist destination in Southeast Asia? Time will tell but it still has a long way to go with Thailand currently welcoming nearly twice as many international travelers as Vietnam.