Vietnam wants more Chinese visitors after 60 percent surge in Jan-April

By Doan Loan   May 13, 2017 | 01:26 pm GMT+7

Chinese travelers are single-handedly driving global tourism and Vietnam doesn't want to miss the opportunity.

The tourism ministry has asked that local authorities and top destinations work hard to sustain the strong growth in the number of Chinese tourists.

In an official letter sent out this week, the ministry said the industry, especially service providers catering to Chinese visitors, must improve their capacity at top attractions and during high seasons.

It also acknowledged the recent rise of the so-called “$0 tours,” or cheap vacation packages made possible by leading tourists to shops that sell overpriced products. While these tours have brought in a large number of visitors, officials are urging the industry to think about the ill repute this may have on the industry.

Violations in the industry must be handled strictly to protect the image of Vietnam’s tourism, the ministry said.

Chinese visitors account for nearly 30 percent of all foreign tourist arrivals in Vietnam.

Around 1.27 million Chinese visitors came to Vietnam during the first four months this year, a sharp increase of 60 percent against the same period last year.

As for 2016, 2.7 million Chinese tourists arrived, up 51 percent over 2015. The average growth rate of Chinese arrivals between 2010 and 2016 was 20 percent annually.

Among the places most visited by Chinese tourists are Ha Long Bay, the central city of Da Nang and the resort town of Nha Trang.

Vietnam is seeing tourism as one of the new pillars of the economy, which has posted one of the fastest growth rates in the world over the past decade.