Nha Trang among top regional beach spots for Chinese tourists

By Nguyen Quy   April 18, 2019 | 04:30 am PT
Nha Trang among top regional beach spots for Chinese tourists
The central resort town Nha Trang charms tourists with long, sandy beaches. Photo by Shutterstock/an nguyen
The coastal resort town Nha Trang ranked third among top five Southeast Asian beach destinations favored by Chinese tourists in 2018.

The ranking is mentioned in a recent report by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Vietnamese coastal town followed Indonesia’s Bali and Thailand’s Phuket.

However, after a sudden storm off Phuket capsized and sank a tourist boat, killing 47 Chinese nationals last summer, there was a record decline in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand last year, according to the South China Morning Post.

Boracay Island in the Philippines came in fourth while Sabah in Malaysia finished the top five listing.

Nha Trang, in the central province of Khanh Hoa, is well known for its beaches and scuba diving, attracting large numbers of backpackers, more affluent travelers, as well as Vietnamese tourists. Nha Trang Bay is widely considered as among the world's most beautiful bays.

In 2018, Nha Trang received more than 1.4 million Chinese tourists, up 56 percent from a year earlier, accounting for more than half of its international arrivals.

China has been Vietnam's main source of tourists in recent years, making up one third of all foreign visitors. More than four million Chinese visitors arrived in Vietnam last year, up 48.6 percent year-on-year.

Survey results released last year by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showed that the average daily spending by Chinese visitors increased from $118.6 in 2014 to $130 in 2017. However, this was below what they spent in Thailand ($180), Indonesia ($183) and Singapore ($446).

It was also estimated that each Chinese spends $2,000 on average on a trip to Vietnam, but Chinese travelers to Nha Trang spend much less than those visiting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, according to the provincial tourism department.

A Bloomberg report has said that Chinese tourists could have a big impact on Vietnam’s economy. It said a 30 percent increase in spending by Chinese tourists would boost Vietnam’s economic growth by nearly 1 percentage point. For Thailand, that would be around 1.6 percentage points.

"Chinese tourism is pretty big for ASEAN now, and all the countries rely on Chinese visitors to keep coming and keep spending," Edward Lee, an economist with Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore, was quoted as saying in the report.

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