Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have recorded some of the fastest growing foreign tourist numbers in the world since 2009, according to a recent survey by MasterCard.
The country’s largest cities were among 20 names that have been climbing quickly up the global tourism map.
Hanoi ranked 13th on the global list with foreign arrivals growing on average 11.64 percent since 2009. Ho Chi Minh City ranked 18th with 9.22 percent annual growth.
Japan’s Osaka topped the list with visitors growing 24.15 percent a year thanks to arrivals from China and South Korea. Chengdu in China came second followed by Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
The Vietnamese cities are among four Southeast Asian representatives on the list. Indonesia’s capital Jakarta came in at 11, followed by Bangkok, which was recently named the world’s most visited destination of 2016 with an estimated 21.47 million tourists.
Ho Chi Minh City is a popular destination as a modern commercial center, but also has a lot of history that can be seen at places like the War Remnants Museum and the Independence Palace. Around 2.1 million foreigners visited the city in the first five months of this year, the closest month for which data was available.
Up north, Hanoi has become a highly recommended travel destination with its thousand-year-old charm. The city has been named the cheapest destination in the TripIndex report for the past three years. It received nearly 1.2 million foreign arrivals in the first half of 2016.
Last year, Lonely Planet named Hanoi’s Old Quarter among the places to see at least once in a lifetime, while the visual social network Pinterest ranked the capital the third most-pinned location of all time.
Vietnam attracted an estimated 7.3 million foreign visitors in the first nine months this year, up 25 percent year-on-year.