Vietnam seeks to attract well-off Chinese travelers

VietNamNet Bridge - With 135 million people traveling abroad last year, Chinese are being welcomed by many destinations all over the world, including HCMC.



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UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) last April released a report showing that China stayed in the No 1 position last year with 135 million people traveling abroad, an increase of 6 percent over the year before. The travelers spent $261 billion in the year, an increase of $11 billion.

In 2016, Vietnam received 2.7 million Chinese travelers, or 27 percent of total foreign travelers. The Vietnam Tourism Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has projected a figure of 4 million for this year.

In previous years, Chinese travelers were understood as those who came to Vietnam across border gates, mostly visiting provinces in border areas. However, now, Chinese are travelling everywhere. Chartered flights bring them to Nha Trang, Da Nang and Phu Quoc.

In 2016, Nha Trang sometimes received 60 chartered flights a week from 10 Chinese cities, while Da Nang had 50 flights a week. 

HCMC is still not a hot destination for Chinese. About 400,000 Chinese visited HCMC in 2016, accounting for 10 percent of total travelers.

With 135 million people traveling abroad last year, Chinese are being welcomed by many destinations all over the world, including HCMC.
The southern city, in its plan to develop tourism, strives to receive 9-10 million travelers by 2020, or double that of  last year. To reach that goal, the city is paying special attention to travelers from China, the largest market in the world.

However, analysts said that HCMC needs to be more selective by targeting generous spenders.

“Unlike Da Nang and Nha Trang, HCMC doesn’t have beautiful beaches to lure customers who come on chartered flights. Therefore, it should focus on attracting travelers who spend big money, like excursions and shopping,” said VNAT’s general director Nguyen Van Tuan.

Phan Xuan Anh, president of Tan Hong – Du Ngoan Viet, said that the travelers who like Vietnamese cuisine, like learning about Vietnam’s culture, and buying products bearing the Vietnamese cultural imprint, won’t care about prices, but only about the quality of products and services. 

He suggested developing marine and seafood services in Can Gio district or providing tours linked with Vung Tau City.

A director of a travel firm in HCMC said there are not many firms which have experience about the Chinese market. Only about 10 firms specialize in the market. The lack of experience may put Vietnam travel firms at risk.

He said many Chinese partners contacted him and asked for large cooperation contracts, but partners all asked for deferred payments. The company only cooperated with one Chinese firm last April as the partner agreed on a reasonable payment method.


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Mai Chi

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