The nine-month figure is up 4.7 times year-on-year, but equals 69% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to a report released Friday by the General Bureau of Statistics.
September recorded 1.05 million foreign arrivals, marking the third consecutive month that foreign tourist arrivals exceeded one million.
South Korea was the largest source of tourist arrivals with more than 2.5 million in the first nine months, followed by China (1.1 million).
Taiwan overtook the United States (548,000) to become the third largest source country for tourists with 575,000, and Japan came in fifth with 414,000.
Hoang Nhan Chinh, director of the Secretariat of the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Council, said Vietnam’s tourism industry has received strong support from the government in easing visa policy.
By the end of the year, Vietnam will be able to welcome 12 to 13 million international visitors or more, he added.
The peak season for international tourism usually lasts from September to April next year, as Western tourists flock to Vietnam for winter holidays.
Since August 15, Vietnam has accepted electronic visa registration for citizens of all countries and territories, with the visa valid for multiple entries and for 90 days.
In addition to allowing e-visas for all countries, the government also extended the length of stays in Vietnam from 15 to 45 days for citizens of 13 unilaterally visa-exempt countries.
In 2019, the country welcomed a record 18 million foreign visitors and generated tourism revenue of VND750 trillion ($30 billion).
Southeast Asian countries have embarked on a race to revive international tourism, easing visa policies and strengthening tourism promotion campaigns.
Earlier this week, Thailand began granting visa waivers to Chinese and Kazakh tourists, while Indonesia recently proposed its golden visa policy that allows foreigners to stay for up to 10 years.
Thailand has recorded more than 19 million foreign tourists so far this year, more than half of its annual target.