FOLLOWING a languid start at the beginning of the year, inbound arrivals to Vietnam have picked up pace from the second quarter.
Total international arrivals to Vietnam rose 7.9 per cent year-on-year and numbered close to 4.9 million in the first eight months of 2013, according to statistics from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
This is a marked contrast from the lacklustre performance in 1Q2013, which saw international arrivals decline 6.2 per cent year-on-year to 1.8 million.
Although not the biggest source market, Russia delivered the sharpest increase of 63.1 per cent in visitor numbers to hit 189,317 arrivals from January to August 2013.
Indonesia remains an emerging market for Vietnam with a consistent year-on-year climb of over 20 per cent this year – a likely positive effect of the inaugural Jakarta-Ho Chi Minh City flights launched by Vietnam Airlines late last year (TTG Asia e-Daily, December 14, 2012). For the first eight months of 2013, Vietnam welcomed 48,920 Indonesian arrivals, a 25.6 per cent year-on-year surge.
At the same time, the growth in arrivals to Vietnam has helped to ease the room boom across the country.
Based on statistics from STR Global, average occupancy rate of hotels in Vietnam grew 5.2 percentage points year-on-year to 63.9 per cent in the first seven months of the year. During the same period, ADR rose 3.2 per cent year-on-year to 2.7 million Vietnamese dong (US$128) and RevPAR increased 8.6 per cent to 1.7 million Vietnamese dong.
On the supply side, the Vietnamese capital is expected to see an addition of 1,300 rooms within this year, according to Savills, with the opening of the 86-key Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi earlier this year, plus the upcoming debuts of the 450-key JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi and the 359-key InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72 in 2H2013.