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UN Report Names Vietnam World's 7th-Fastest Growing Destination of 2019

Will the coronavirus put a dent in that?

According to VnExpress, the 2019 Tourism Highlight report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) listed Vietnam 7th on the list of fastest-growing tourism destinations, up three spots from the previous year.

Last year, 18 million international tourists visited Vietnam, a 16.2% jump from 2018. Myanmar topped the list with 40.2% year-on-year growth, followed by Puerto Rico (31.2%) and Iran (27.9%).

Global tourism figures grew by 4%, with 1.5 billion people traveling abroad. France and Spain were the most-visited countries, clocking figures of over 90 million and 83.8 million, respectively.

Until recently it appeared that 2020 would be another banner year for international tourism in Vietnam, as 1.99 million people visited the country in January, a new record.

However, nearly 650,000 of those tourists were Chinese, and that market is now almost completely cut off following flight suspensions and border closings amid the worsening virus outbreak.

In the meantime, Vietnam will have to rely more on other markets, including the 35 countries which were added to the list of eligible nationalities for e-visas.