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International visitor arrivals up in low season

2010-07-05 (GMT + 7)

Nearly 376,000 international visitors have arrived in the country this month, a 7% rise from last month and a 34.6% year-on-year pickup, though this is a low season, said the National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

The low season of the inbound section is from April to August with visitor arrivals often falling month by month.
According to a report by the General Statistics Office, the country has attracted 2.51 million foreign visitors travel to Vietnam in the first half of this year, up 32.6% year-on-year.
The tourism sector has posted double-digit growth in visitors from key Asian markets such as China, South Korea and Japan. China has remained the biggest market for the tourism sector, with 437,000 Chinese coming to the country in the year to date, up 92.5%.
Far-away markets like the U.S. and France have registered lower growth. Nearly 231,000 Americans have toured Vietnam, up 3.5% year-on-year, while French tourists have numbered 101,000, a 10.4% improvement.
As the country’s biggest tourism center, HCMC says it has received around 1.5 million foreign visitors in the six months, up 12% from a year ago.
Vo Anh Tai, director of Saigontourist Travel Service Co., told the Daily that the company had served about 71,000 foreign tourists so far this year, with growth ranging from 10% to 15% depending on markets.
“This is the good growth rate compared to the same period of 2009 but it is still far from the levels recorded in 2007-2008,” he said.
He noted his company had seen no recovery in tourist numbers from some source markets like the U.S. and Europe since the financial crisis.
Unlike Tai, Bui Viet Thuy Tien, managing director of Asian Trails Co., said her business this year had yet to get back to normal. “It’s boring. Our guests in May were down 12% from May last year. The MICE segment is a single bright spot,” she said.
Tien said the company had taken orders to serve groups of MICE travelers in the high season this year.
Both Tai and Tien said their companies expected better performance late this year but the market would not be returning to the level of 2007.

(Source: SGT)

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