China ranked second in outbound tourists to Vietnam in the first three months followed by Cambodia with a 147.2% year-on-year increase. However, Cambodia is the smaller of the two source markets with around 58,400 visitors in the first three months of 2010.
Vu The Binh, Director of the Department of Travel under VNAT, said that the VNAT would organize road shows and direct meetings in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Fujian.
“We are making advertising films to promote Vietnam travel on China’s television channels. We expect the films can be broadcast on some channels during the promotion trip,” Binh said.
VNAT will organize familiarization trips for Chinese media and tour operators to the country in the coming months.
Binh said the target was Chinese tourists who travel to Vietnam by passport because of higher spending compared to others who travel by laissez-passer. In the past, Chinese passport holders accounted for around 20% of Chinese visitors to Vietnam. However, the figure increased to 50% last year.
VNAT director Nguyen Van Tuan said, “We still see China as the major source market this year. We are receiving good results from promotion trips last year and are focusing on Chinese passport holders.”
VNAT and travel firms in 2009 organized marketing trips to China’s Sichuan, Chongqing, Wuhan, Shanghai, Henan, Guangzhou and Shenzhen that resulted in Vietnamese and Chinese partners signing deals like the memorandum of understanding on tourism development between VNAT and Sichuan Province’s Tourism Promotion Bureau. The two sides on March 9 signed a deal to deploy the memorandum in Hanoi.
Nearly 528,000 Chinese travel to Vietnam last year, still lower than the record number of 778,000 in 2004.