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Tourism In Vietnam Statistics 2024: Your All-In-One Travel Guide

Courtney C.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Courtney C.

Last updated : May 15, 202454 min read

General

 

Picture this: a captivating tapestry of lush landscapes, bustling markets and vibrant street life, where ancient traditions seamlessly blend with the dynamic energy of modernity. This is Vietnam, spanning an area of 310,070km2 and bordering China, Laos and Cambodia.

 

You may know it for phở, rolling rice fields and motorbike-filled streets, but that’s just the beginning. From the delicious cuisine to stunning landscapes, to when to hire a Vietnam tour guide, to great shopping locations and fun activities, there’s so much to do, see and learn in Vietnam. So let’s start off with some Vietnam facts, shall we?

 

The Gateway to Southeast Asia: Welcome To Vietnam

 

 

Vietnam is a long-shaped country, with its capital, Hanoi, residing in the north. In 2024, Vietnam had a population of 99,221,771, which is 1.23% of the world’s population. With 40.4% of the population living in the cities (39,908,503 people in 2023), from the get-go, you know it’s going to be crowded. 

 

So, how many tourists visit Vietnam annually? In 2019, Vietnam saw 18m visitors, which then dropped to 3.84m in 2020 before it closed its borders. When the country reopened its tourism industry on March 15th, 2022, in the remaining months of the year, it only saw 3.66m visitors. But that’s not the end of the story. 

 

So, how many tourists visited Vietnam in 2023? Last year, thankfully, was a different story. For the full year of 2023, tourist arrivals soared by 244.2% to 12.6 million. In fact, Vietnam was named Asia’s Leading Destination for the fifth time and Asia’s Leading Nature Destination for the second time in a row in 2023.

 

This might have you wondering, what is the tourism ranking of Vietnam? Vietnam now ranks 52nd on the index, so it’s great to see the country back on track. Vietnam needs international tourists, as foreign tourists spend an average of around USD673 per day when traveling in Vietnam, compared to a Vietnamese tourist who spends an average of around USD61 per day.



Tourism In Vietnam Quick Statistics 

 

 

  • 23.7 billion USD- How much of Vietnam’s economy is tourism? From tourism, this is the amount of money Vietnam was estimated to receive in the first 10 months of 2023. 

  • 7.4%. - The share of direct GDP contribution from tourism that Vietnam is expected to reach by 2028

  • 12.6 million - The number of tourist arrivals to Vietnam in 2023. This is a contrast to the 18 million visitors from 2019, but it shows a quick recovery. 

  • 2022 - The year Vietnam opened back up after the global health crisis 



So, who visits Vietnam the most? South Koreans were the nationality that visited Vietnam the most in 2023, visiting to experience the natural beauty and culture, but here are the top five:

 

  • South Korea: 3,595,000

  • China: 1,743,200 

  • Taiwan: 851,020

  • United States: 717,070

  • Japan: 589,520

 

As for the Vietnamese themselves, a travel trend they hope to embrace gives a strong emphasis on leisure-focused and experiential trips, with relaxation being the main driver of travel.

 

But what about Vietnam as a tourist destination? What are some Vietnam tourism hotspots that people are visiting? Keep reading!

 

 

Floating Markets and Ancient Temples: Must-See Attractions

Whether you’re a foodie, a history lover, someone who loves to get involved in the culture or someone who adores nature — as cliché as it sounds, there truly is something for everyone here. 

 

Is Vietnam friendly to tourists? Most definitely, as seen by how welcoming and friendly the people are to visitors, as well as through all the private tours offered, which you can conveniently book from your hotel for different cities. Or, you can hire a private local guide to show you around!

 

Here are some must-see destinations to get your itinerary started:

 

 

  • Ha Long Bay: Sail through the mesmerizing seascape of Ha Long Bay, and its limestone karsts and emerald waters, offering a serene and picturesque setting. A tour usually stops by the caves and you can even ride a canoe!

  • Hội An: Immerse yourself in the magical ambiance of Hội An, where vibrant lanterns illuminate the ancient town, especially during the Lantern Festival on the 14th day of every lunar month, creating a truly enchanting atmosphere.

  • Marble Mountains in Da Nang: Climb the Marble Mountains in Da Nang to explore a cluster of five marble and limestone hills, each named after one of the five elements, offering not only panoramic views but also Buddhist sanctuaries and caves to discover.

  • War Remnants Museum: Gain profound insights into Vietnam's wartime history at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, where thought-provoking exhibits and artifacts depict the country's struggles and resilience. I came out of this museum with tears in my eyes.

  • Old Quarter: Stroll through the lively streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter, a historic district featuring narrow alleys, colonial architecture and a vibrant street life that captures the essence of the city's rich cultural heritage. Try your hand at haggling for your shopping!

  • Water Puppet Show: Experience the traditional Vietnamese art form of water puppetry, where skillfully crafted puppets perform on water stages, telling captivating stories accompanied by live traditional music, creating a unique and entertaining cultural spectacle. It’s in Vietnamese, but it’s easy to understand the story!

 

Travel Tip: One of the best ways to explore Ho Chi Minh’s crazy roads is to take a scooter food tour. Guides take you to local food stalls and restaurants you otherwise wouldn’t know of, provide you with interesting history about the city, and allow you to get among the insane amount of motorbikes filling the streets. Our tour was the highlight of our trip. Book yours today!

 

 

Silk Lanterns and Water Puppets: Cultural Experiences

If you’re anything like me, you love taking part in the cultural experiences and events that occur in the country you’re visiting. It could be a festival, a tour, or even simply doing as the locals do. 

 

When booking your trip, make sure to research the time you’re going to see if there are any events happening while you are there. This can help you determine when to go and also give you plenty to do!

 

Here are some yearly events to keep in mind:

 

  • Vietnamese Lunar New Year: Known as Tet Nguyen Dan, it takes place from the 1st to 3rd day of the first lunar month, usually late January or early February. It’s a significant cultural event all across the country, with family gatherings, customs and traditions.

  • Full Moon Festival: The Mid-Autumn Festival is full of cultural activities and is on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. The streets come alive with paper lanterns, drums and lion dances. 

  • Hung King Temple Festival: Takes place on the 10th day of the third lunar month, which honors the founders and first emperors of Vietnam. Watch the procession and then watch or play folk games like human cheese, rice cooking competitions and bamboo swings. 

  • Perfume Pagoda Festival: Taking place from the 6th day of the first lunar month to the end of the third lunar month, this follows a pilgrimage to the sacred Buddhist realm. 

  • Hue Festival: Around April, May or June, this biennial festival spans a week and is filled with art and calligraphy exhibitions, live music, acrobatics, a fashion show and puppetry shows. There’s even boat racing, kite flying, dance performances, human chess and fireworks!

 

Okay, maybe that’s helped you narrow down when to visit Vietnam, but what about the weather? In a country where you’re competing with monsoons, heat and humidity, weather is one of the biggest factors in when to visit.

 

 

From Pho, to Bahn Mi: A Culinary Journey In Vietnam

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE Vietnamese food. It’s incredibly fresh, healthy and filled with herbs that dance on your taste buds. It’s popular, too, at least it is where I’m from, but I can safely say that pretty much everyone has heard of phở (that one word that hardly anyone can pronounce properly — it sounds like ‘fuh’ rather than ‘faux’).

 

With that said, there’s so much more to Vietnamese food than this noodle soup, though, so let’s go through some dishes!

 

 

 

  • Phở: Let’s start with phở, the quintessential Vietnamese dish. Pho is a flavorful noodle soup, usually made with beef (Pho Bo) or chicken (Pho Ga), featuring aromatic broth, rice noodles and fresh herbs.

  • Bánh Mì: A delicious Vietnamese sandwich, Banh Mi combines a crispy French baguette (reminiscent of its French history) with a variety of fillings such as grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs

  • Bún Bò Huế: A spicy beef noodle soup hailing from the city of Hue, Bun Bo Hue features lemongrass-infused broth, thick rice noodles, and tender slices of beef.

  • Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese pancake): A crispy pancake with fillings you wrap with lettuce, fresh herbs and a dipping sauce. 

  • Cơm Tấm (Broken Rice): Featuring broken rice grains, Com tam is often served with grilled pork, pork skin, and a side of pickled vegetables, creating a satisfying and unique texture.

  • Cà Phê (Vietnamese Coffee): Don't miss the strong and sweet Vietnamese coffee, often served with condensed milk, creating a unique and delicious caffeine experience.


This is only a tiny list of Vietnamese cuisine, so make sure to try a range of foods while in Vietnam or book a private food tour with a local who can take you to the food locations you would never have known to visit. They can also teach you how to eat the food and about exactly what it is. It will be the highlight of your trip.

 

Touring The Land Of The Blue Dragons: Best Time to Explore Vietnam

Keeping it simple, the best time to visit Vietnam is between November and April, as this is when it’s the most comfortable in terms of temperature, as well as the driest period, in terms of rainfall. The weather in Vietnam can be split by region, so let’s take a look at each. 

 

 

Mountainous Far North

Destinations: Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Ha, and Mu Cang Chai 

 

This region experiences two distinct seasons. The dry season from October to March (with frost in December and January) is ideal for travel, while the rainy season from April to September is best avoided. Prime trekking conditions in Sapa and Mu Cang Chai are from September to November and March to May.

 

North Vietnam

Destinations: Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh, Hanoi

 

Hanoi and the North have a winter (November to April) with temperatures around 17–22°C and a summer (May to October) characterized by heat and humidity, reaching above 30oC in May, with the wettest period from July to September. Ha Long Bay might experience weather-related disruptions from July to September, but it's uncommon. The coolest month of the year in Hanoi is January, with an average of 17oC.

 

 

Central Vietnam

Destinations: Hội An, Danang, Hue, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, and Dalat 

This region has hot, dry weather from mid-January to late August, while October and November bring increased rainfall. Nha Trang has a longer dry season (January to September), with rain from October to December. Dalat is wet from June to October but drier from November to May. In July and August, expect frequent sunny 30oC days.

 

South Vietnam

Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc, Con Dao, Phan Thiet, Mui Ne, Ho Tram, and Long Hai 

 

This region experiences a consistent climate year-round. The dry season is from November to April, while the wet season lasts from May to early November, with heavy but short-lived afternoon downpours. The average temperatures range from 25–35°C throughout the year. Islands like Phu Quoc and Con Dao are enjoyable year-round, with occasional afternoon rain outside the dry season. March to May can see temperatures regularly reach 40oC.

 

Okay, you now know the time to visit and where to go, but we’re missing something. How will you get around? Keep reading. 

 

Practical Tips: Navigating Vietnam With Ease

Transportation in Vietnam can seem complicated, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the culture and how things run. More than half (53.81%) of the Vietnamese speak some English, and this is an old statistic, meaning more will speak it now. You won’t have an issue in Vietnam with a language barrier.

 

Despite that, getting around in another country can be daunting, so here’s some transportation information to help you before you arrive.

 

  • Ride-sharing Apps: If you take anything from this article, let it be this. Install the ride-sharing app, Grab, onto your phone and set it up before you arrive. For incredibly cheap transport, you can easily input your pickup and drop-off locations and a driver will meet you. This way, you can pay in advance and prevent any possible scams from taxi services.

  • Plane: Flying is much faster than train rides or driving between cities. A train ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh can sometimes be 30 hours, compared to a one- to two-hour plane ride.

  • Motorbike: Motorbike rentals are generally affordable, but sometimes you have to leave your passport with them, so search around. 

  • Train: This is slow but reliable and good for scenic routes, but not on a fast-paced trip.

  • Taxi: While there are plenty of taxi companies like Vinasun and Mai Linh, we recommend using a ride-sharing app instead. Taxis can be quite expensive. 

  • Cyclos and bike riding: Try a sightseeing tour on a Cyclo in Hanoi or take a bike riding tour through the countryside.

  • Buses: You can take an overnight or sleeper bus between major cities, or even a 6-hour bus ride to Sapa from Hanoi, just make sure to book through a reputable company for comfort and safety.

 

Other than your tours and tour guides, you only need the Grab App to help you get around, but you will also be walking a lot as attractions aren’t all that far apart, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Letting your feet guide you also allows you to see some interesting sights and even some dining locations you might want to visit later, so don’t be afraid to walk!

 

 

Vietnam By The Day: Tourism Safety Tips & Dos and Don’ts!

Wherever you decide to travel, when it comes to safety, the first thing to remember is to use common sense and to be aware of your surroundings, no matter if you’re a family or solo traveler. Overall, Vietnam sits at 41st place for the 2023 Global Peace Index score, higher than South Korea, Argentina and the UAE. 

 

Vietnam is considered a friendly and safe country to travel to, with a safety index while walking around during the day of 73.95. The only major complaints are aggressive street vendors, dangerous driving, occasional pickpocketing and some tour operators having bad attitudes. 

 

Before you go, here are some safety tips to help you out:

 

  • Dress conservatively.

  • Keep your cash, card and valuables in a safe place.

  • Travel with recommended Vietnam tour guides and agencies.

  • When on a motorbike, make sure your bag is to the front of you or not on display.

  • Be careful when taking money out of an ATM.

  • Use insect repellent.

  • Make sure vaccinations are up-to-date. 

  • If bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical help immediately. 

  • Don’t carry illegal drugs, including marijuana.

 

Remember: You need a visa before entering Vietnam. Tourist visas on arrival have resumed, but these often have long lines. They’re also limited to 30 days and cannot be extended, compared to 90 days if you get it beforehand. You can apply online for an eVisa, which helps!



Dos & Don’ts: The Vietnam Edition 

If you’re interested in more safety tips or helpful information, here are some dos and don'ts for Vietnam:

 


 

  • Do: Bring Vietnamese dong (VND) in cash for small purchases, especially for markets and small food joints.
  • Do: Get yourself a sim card on arrival with data so you can use the Grab app and make your way around easily.
  • Do: Bargain in markets, but do so in a friendly and respectful manner.
  • Do: Bring some medication with you, just in case you get food poisoning. 

 

  • Don’t: Second-guess yourself when walking through traffic. Don’t stop in the middle of the road or awkwardly go around the motorbikes, they will go around you. 
  • Don’t: Wear singlets or short skirts when entering religious sites. The day you visit these, wear modest clothing, or bring a wrap.
  • Don’t: Photograph the military or military sites, airports or border areas.
  • Don’t: Show serious public displays of affection, like kissing. Holding hands is perfectly fine.

Conclusion

Phew, there really is so much to do and see in Vietnam! My parents just came back from Vietnam and one of their top tips was to plan tours. Tourism in Vietnam statistics are so fascinating to learn about and have me itching to go back! 

Hopefully, it’s done the same for you. You can do so with just a couple of clicks! Be sure to check out the various Vietnam tour guides and private tours available in Vietnam to make your trip just that extra special. Can’t wait to see you there!

Thua Thien Tour Guide - Ngoc L.

Ngoc L.

Vietnam

Working as a tour-guide in central of Vietnam since 2014 and guided thousand of people the beauty of Vietnam's culture, history and people. From 2018, I started to work independently and focused in organizing tours in my Hue city only.                                                                                                                                  

Ho Chi Minh Tour Guide - Nhu N.

Nhu N.

Vietnam

Xin Chao! Hello my fellow travellers and citizens of the world My name is Nhu (pronounced as New). I am a fully- blooded Saigonese. I would love to meet you in person, show you around my city and laugh with you. I love my home city and its unique blend of culture, history & delicious cuisine. In my entire life, I have always been in Saigon and have witnessed tremendous, exciting changes of the city in which I grew up in. Indeed, I am a happy local of this dynamic & vibrant city. Please let me and my hospitality show you the beauty of Saigon - Pearl of the far east I have extensive experience working as a local English-speaking guide for various companies, plus, many years during College as a Hotel Front-desk. My understanding of cultural differences and curiosity makes me a great local guide. I UNDERSTAND you and your needs because I am a traveller myself Why am I your great pick? There are many wonderful local guides in Ho Chi Minh city. However, I will not only be your guide, but also I will be the-friend-you-know in Saigon: I provide, including but not limited to: 1. Door to door service. Pick-up and drop-off as requested 2. Feel free to customize your own itinerary or go with my ready-to-book tours 3. I avoid touristy spots as much as I could to ensure you have off-the-beaten-track experience 4. No shopping (unless it is requested) 5. Come as customers, leave as friends Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to drop me a message. I am available to answer all of your inquiries, give recomendations about hotels, restaurants and how to navigate the city, etc. . . I am looking forward to the day we finally meet in person Locally yours, Ms. Nhu                                                                                                                                 

Hoi An Tour Guide - Hung L.

Hung L.

Vietnam

We mainly focus on the authentic and signatured local experience beside popular destinations that we take our guests to explore in Central of Vietnam. We have worked with our customers for dozens of years so we know well our guests's expectation.                                                                                                                                 

Ho Chi Minh Tour Guide - Toan N.

Toan N.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)
Vietnam

Chào(Hello)! I am Toàn, you can call me Fully. Saigon(Ho Chi Minh City) is my hometown, it's also the motorbike city with millions of bikes. I am a professional tour guide who love sharing full stories about the Vietnamese cuisine, history and culture. I have made this unique experience in order to let our foreign friends hang out with the local Saigonese on an adventure with motorbikes to experience the authentic Street Foods of the city. I have been doing motorbike tours for many years and have trained for many energetic university students who have the same passion like me to become my co-hosts. They are well-trained, fluent in English and excellent licensed drivers. Đi thôi(Let's go)! Let's put on the helmet, get on the motorbike and go with the flow! Thank you so much for your interest and see you soon!                                                                                                                                 

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