Tourist arrivals from the U.S. have been rising continuously since February as 2015 marked the 20th year of the normalization of the U.S.-Vietnamese diplomatic relations, according to data of the General Statistics Office.
In the first ten months of this year, international travelers to Vietnam were likely at 6.34 million, sliding 4.1% year-on-year, the office said in a report released Tuesday.
The number of Asian holiday-goers declined 4.9% year-on-year to 4.44 million, of which the number of Chinese tourists dropped 14.7% to 1.43 million. The number of tourists from Cambodia, Thailand and Laos also fell in the period.
The number of travelers from South Korea, meanwhile, soared 30.7% year-on-year to 897,500, that of Japanese tourists went up 3% to 551,900 and that of Taiwanese tourists increased 10.2% to 365,200.
The government-run office added that in October, tourist arrivals rose 3.6% from September and 16.1% from the same period of 2014 to 649,100. China remains Vietnam’s largest source of tourists, with 175,400 going to the Southeast Asian country during October.
In a bid to encourage tourist arrivals, Vietnam will reduce visa fees for several types of foreign travelers and overseas Vietnamese next month.
Vietnam currently applies a one-sided free-visa policy to eight countries, including Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and Belarus. The country also applies a visa-free policy for travelers from the other nine Southeast Asian countries.
In July, it exempted visas for travelers from five European countries namely Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK.
Tourism is one of Vietnam's largest foreign currency sources, besides foreign direct investment and official development assistance.