Volumes within Vietnam's tourism industry have increased since 2008 due to the country's strong economic growth, improved travel infrastructure, the availability of multiple travel options, affordable accommodation, and attractive destinations.
The country's inbound tourist volumes expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.64% between 2008 and 2012. Consequently, after realising the sector's importance to the nation's economy, the government began prioritising tourism.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism accounted for 9.4% of the country's GDP and 8.1% of its total employment in 2012.
Tourism is increasingly important in Vietnam. For backpackers, culture and nature lovers, beach-lovers and veterans touring the country for a long time, Vietnam has emerged itself as a new tourist destination in Southeast Asia and on is now on lists in magazines worldwide.
Local and international tour operators offer tours to ethnic minority groups, walking and bicycle tours, kayak trips and multi-country trips in particular in connection with neighbouring Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. In addition, thanks to the lift of several movement regulations, foreign tourists have been able to travel freely in the country since 1997.
According to a recent report, 'Travel and Tourism in Vietnam to 2017,' in terms of inbound tourist arrivals and tourism revenue in 2012, Vietnam ranked fifth among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Tourism is one of the fastest-growing business areas in the country's economy.
Vietnam has seen its tourism industry rising as of late, with foreign tourist arrivals in the first half of this year already reaching upwards of 3.5 million - a 2.6% year-on-year increase.
Over 567,000 people came to the country last month in June, up 1.5% from the previous month of May and up 29.9% year-on-year. The first half of the year also saw Vietnam's domestic tourists surge by 12% to 24 million.
The next move the country's tourism sector has started undertaking is an expansion of tour operator activities and increasing investments in local accommodation facilities.
As of 2013, the Vietnamese government has intended to invest no less than $94.2 billion towards its tourism infrastructure. Vietnam's tourism sector predicts 7.2 million international tourists and revenue of up to $9.1 billion for 2013.
For more information on the Vietnam's tourism industry, see the latest research: Vietnam Tourism Industry
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