HANOI, Vietnam – The number of Chinese tourists visiting Vietnam in the January-August period dropped by 9.7% from the same period last year, and arrivals from this source market are forecast to remain weak towards the year-end.
According to the General Statistics Office, there were nearly 894,000 tourist arrivals from China to Vietnam in the eight-month period, down 9.7% while last year’s same period recorded a growth rate of nearly 48%. Vietnam last year welcomed over 1.4 million Chinese arrivals, rising by up to 56.5% from the previous year.
Statistics of travel firms showed the same situation. Specifically, the number of Chinese tourists at HCMC-based Lien Bang Travelink has dropped by 30%.
“Some partners have booked tours for this year-end, but tours may be canceled at the last minute like what has happened since the year’s beginning,” said Tu Quy Thanh, director of Lien Bang Travelink.
Similarly, Cao Tri Dung, director of Vitours in Danang City, said that the firm last year welcomed over 100,000 Chinese tourist arrivals, but the number of Chinese tourists has now dropped strongly.
Explaining for the drop in the number of Chinese tourists, travel firms said that this resulted from economic difficulties. Besides, some Chinese firms have started to provide their own tours to Vietnam instead of cooperating with Vietnamese firms.
“Previously, we used to receive a large number of tourists from China on charter flights, but after that, Chinese partner have organized their tours bringing tourists to Vietnam. This has made us lose customers and the State lose the travel tax,” said Dung from Vitours.
In addition, according to the Travel Department under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the tourism industry has started to reorganize the market and shift to the segment for tourists with higher spending.
Chinese tourists with low spending mainly come to Vietnam via border gates in the northern region and buy tours lasting three days at a price of over VND1 million. Receiving tourists via border gates has been tightened, resulting in the falling number of tourists.
Currently, around 30% and 58% of Chinese tourists come to Vietnam by road and air respectively while the rest arrive here by ship.
According to Nguyen Quy Phuong, head of the Travel Department, amid current economic difficulties, attracting tourists with high spending is not easy at all. However, China is still an important market, and Vietnam will strive to attract more tourists of the high-spending segment.
“To achieve this, we will launch more promotion activities in China,” he said.
Vietnam organized a tourism promotion program in Guangzhou late last month and will continue to hold road shows in Xian and Tianjin in November. The department has plans to invite Chinese press agencies to Vietnam.