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Vietnam travel firms eye Korean bonanza

2011-05-04 (GMT + 7)

Vietnam travel firms are gearing up to launch new tour programs to the Korean city for the first time this summer.

Asiana Airlines opens direct flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Busan, the largest port city in South Korea, from early next month.

Leading tour operator Saigontourist has tours departing next month including a five day trip taking in Busan-Seoul at VND20.7 million and a seven-day visit to Busan-Jeju-Seoul at VND22.7 million.

As part of the trip to Seoul, travelers will visit Everland amusement park, the ancient kingdom of Gyeongju, Jagalchi Fish Market and Haeundae Beach, one of the most famous beaches in South Korea and one of the venues for the annual Busan International Film Festival.

Tourists can also choose a Jeju-Seoul-Everland-Nami-Nanta six-day trip which departs every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and ‘Snow Skiing in Korean Summer’ on a seven-day excursion departing every Thursday. Vietravel will also offer package tours to Busan-Jeju-Seoul-Nami-Everland for six days at VND25 million.

Vietnam tour operators are focusing on Korea as a key market to make up for the loss of Japanese tour programs due to a lot of cancellations after the natural disasters that hit the country two months ago. They claim a lot of tourists now favor South Korea rather than Japan in recent times.

Nguyen Minh Man, media manager of Vietravel, told the Daily last week: “We expect that the number of locals visiting South Korea via our company will reach 7,500, an increase of 1,500 tourists compared to last year.”

Vietravel serves large numbers of local travelers to countries like South Korea, Thailand and Cambodia.

In the last four years, the number of South Korean visitors to Vietnam tour was 187,000, up 6.6%, and Japanese tourist figures rose to 177,600, up 21% year-on-year.

Source: The Saigon Times

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