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Vietnam expects Chinese tourist arrivals to double this year

2010-06-18 (GMT + 7)

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) not only expects the number of Chinese travelers to Vietnam to recover this year but also aims for them to double to around one million, tourism officials said.

The administration is going by a strong increase in visitors from China in the first five months of this year, and cites as well several promotion programs in China in the past two years and an increase in air routes.
In January-May more than 339,000 people came from China, up 111% year-on-year.
“We are receiving benefits from marketing activities and cooperation of travel firms between the two sides. We will increase such activities to develop visitors by air, overland and sea travel,” said Vu The Binh, head of the Travel Department of VNAT.
He said that along with marketing trips to big cities of the biggest source market, as in the past year, the administration would use China’s television channels. “We expect the first publicity program will be broadcast on some television channels next month,” Binh said.
VNAT is giving priority to developing the segment of air travelers, as many new routes have opened in recent months, like services by Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi and HCMC to Shanghai, and charter flights.
“We are receiving three chartered flights from Guangzhou to Danang every week. The first chartered flight from Chongqing to Hanoi will start on September 30 and will go there every week,” Binh said.
By sea, many Chinese travelers are coming from Guangxi province to Quang Ninh province’s Halong Bay. Along with the current route from Beihai to Halong Bay, another route from Fangchenggang to Halong will reopen soon after years of disruption.
However, VNAT needs to carry out more activities to attract more overland Chinese travelers, as the growth has not been good recently, as well as develop new products to attract laissez-passer-holders to travel to all three regions of Vietnam.
“We need to make new products for special travelers,” Binh said. “We will work with travel firms on the products.”
Nearly 528,000 Chinese visited the country last year, still lower than the record of 778,000 in 2004.

VietNamNet/SGT

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