Chinese tourists to Vietnam skyrocket 42.9 percent in Q1

By Dat Nguyen   March 30, 2018 | 01:29 am PT
Chinese tourists to Vietnam skyrocket 42.9 percent in Q1
A Chinese tour guide holding a flag walking with tourists. Photo by VnExpres
Vietnam has witnessed an across-the-board increase of tourists from around the world at the start of the year.

Rapidly increasing numbers of tourists from China and South Korea are choosing Vietnam as their destination of choice, between them accounting for 53 percent of all international visitors to Vietnam in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest report from the General Statistics Office.

A massive 1.36 million Chinese tourists arrived in the first three months, up 42.9 percent from the same period last year, while 892,000 touched down from Korea, an increase of 69.2 percent, the report said.

The number of tourists from Asian countries also increased by 37.6 percent compared to the first three months of 2017, and the upward trend is also true for Europe, America, Australia and Africa.

The increasing number of Chinese tourists has been attributed to the reappearance of "zero dollar" tours in Vietnam, a government official said earlier this month. Chinese visitors on these tours do not have to pay for basic lodging and meals, but they are required to shop at certain stores that are actually owned by Chinese investors.

Many tourists have claimed to have been assaulted for not buying goods at these stores, and the Vietnamese government has already shut down 15 of them following an investigation.

Vietnam received more than 4.2 million foreign visitors in the first quarter, up 31 percent from a year ago, according to the statistics.

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