The trend is changing as less young Japanese people are coming while more guests are picking incentive tours instead. However, the elderly still keep arriving here.
“Demand for incentive tours has been on the rise since the middle of last year and the increase will continue this year. We serve groups of Japanese tourists taking incentive tours every month,” said Dinh Nguyen Ngoc Giang, O.S.C Travel (S.M.I. Group) Co.
Nguyen Van Tran, general director of APEX Travel Co., Ltd, the biggest foreign-local joint venture catering to Japanese travelers in the country, said the company would arrange incentive tours for several groups this month and in the following two months. The size of each group served by APEX is big, at 100 to 200 people, and in particular, there are groups of 400.
“We’re promoting incentive tours for the Japanese in Vietnam,” he said.
Giang of O.S. C Travel said there had appeared some positive signs as the value of the Japanese yen was increasing, and tourist numbers kept growing. Foreign business people are coming back to Vietnam for investment and trade opportunities given the continued economic uncertainty in some regional countries.
According to the Prospective Travel Trends in 2011 of JTP, a leading Japanese travel group, the number of Japanese making overseas trips will reach 17.3 million this year, up 3.7% from last year.
Asian destinations are preferred as the high exchange rates for yen there will work against a major increase in consumer prices.
Giang said the new travel trend could eat into earnings of local Vietnam travel firms as elderly people are cash-minded, especially at a time when woes are still gripping the Japanese economy. “Tour operators will certainly earn less than in the past,” she said.
Around 442,000 Japanese visited the country last year, up 24% from 2009. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism expects the country to receive one million Japanese visitors by 2015 and it is preparing a scheme to attract more guests travel to Vietnam from this important market.
Source: The Saigon Times