NEW YORK -- Some 530,000 tourists visited Vietnam during the first
three months of this year, up 14% compared with the same period
last year, according to the Vietnam Department of Tourism in Hanoi.
The department said it predicts Vietnam will receive
approximately 2 million visitors this year, an increase of 12.5%
compared with 1999, when there were 1.7 million tourist
The department said the celebrations marking the 25th
anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War on April 30 were expected
to continue the positive trend in tourist arrivals.
Vietnam has seen a sharp increase in tourists since opening up
to the outside world in the last decade.
Of the 1.7 million tourists who visited last year, 27% came from
China, 12% came from the U.S. (80% of these were of Vietnamese
heritage) and 10% came from Taiwan.
The growth in Chinese visitors was attributed to an accord
signed last year by Hanoi and Peking easing travel restrictions
between the two countries.