Since the opening of its economy to the world markets in the 1990s, Vietnam’s travel and tourism sector has experienced unprecedented growth. In 2008, the tourism industry generated more than US$ 4 Billion in tourism receipts, indicating the importance of tourism industry in Vietnam’s economy. Being a source as well as destination market, the Vietnamese tourism industry has grown nearly twice as fast as GDP in recent years.
Vietnam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. Recently, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) named Vietnam as the world’s fourth fastest-growing tourist destination. In 2008, the country recorded around 4.25 Million foreign visitor arrivals, an increase of around 2% from 2007. However, this growth was comparatively slower than over 16% recorded in 2007 due to global economic slowdown. Total outbound tourists from Vietnam also achieved an all-time record high in 2008.