Short-term ‘fear factor’ could boost Chinese tourism to Vietnam

By Nguyen Quy   May 6, 2020 | 04:26 pm GMT+7

With many Chinese citizens interested in post-pandemic travel abroad, Vietnam could benefit from a short-term preference for short-haul flights, a survey found.

Nearly half of surveyed Chinese travelers said they plan to travel overseas during the remainder of 2020 if the pandemic is contained, and 45 percent of these said Vietnam would feature on their list.

The China Vietnam Travel Sentiment Survey polled nearly 1,000 Chinese travelers to gauge relevant overseas travel sentiment for the remainder of 2020. It was carried out by a leading hospitality consulting group of Thailand, C9 Hotelworks, and communication firm Delivering Asia Communications, both headquartered in Thailand.

Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, the central coastal town of Nha Trang and Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh are Vietnamese destinations highly favored by Chinese tourists, according to the survey, which was released Tuesday.

China is Vietnam's biggest feeder market for tourism, accounting for about 30 percent of foreign arrivals last year, official data shows.

Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/Andy Tran.

Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/Andy Tran.

Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, said: "A post-crisis short-term ‘fear factor’ is expected for extended air travel which will be manifested in a preference for short-haul, door-to-door flights, which is a key opportunity for China outbound tourism to Vietnam."

The majority of those planning to travel to Vietnam did not have a specific time frame in mind with Vietnam continuing to suspend international flights and halting entry for all foreigners. However, 20 percent of the respondents said they wished to visit Vietnam this October if the pandemic is contained.

Eighty-one percent of the Chinese respondents said they preferred independent travel during their holiday in Vietnam, while the remaining opted for tour groups.

A beach in Nha Trang, central Vietnam. Photo by Andy Tran.

A beach in Nha Trang, central Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/Andy Tran.

Vietnam lifted its 22-day social distancing campaign on April 23 and most popular tourist destinations in the country have reopened their doors for tourists.

The UNESCO heritage site Ha Long Bay resumed tourism activities and allowed the reopening of public beaches from May 1, while Nha Trang Town in Khanh Hoa Province reopened public beaches on May 4.

The majority of Chinese travelers spend an estimated $710 to $1,400 per trip in Vietnam, earlier reports have said.

The country received 3.7 million foreign visitors in Jan-April, a 38 percent drop year-on-year, as a direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism revenues dropped 45 percent to VND7.9 trillion ($337 million). It welcomed 892,000 Chinese tourists in the four months, down 47.7 percent.

Vietnam's proximity to China has made it a popular destination among many Chinese looking to vacation overseas without a long haul journey. Most Chinese tourists enter Vietnam via northern border provinces, particularly Quang Ninh, home to Ha Long Bay.

The country welcomed around 5.8 million Chinese tourists last year out of the 18 million foreign arrivals.

Vietnam has banned entry for foreign nationals since March 22, except for special cases. Since March 25, international flights have been suspended to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The country recorded no fresh Covid-19 case Wednesday morning, meaning it remained clear of community transmissions for 20 consecutive days. The Covid-19 tally was 271, of these 232 have recovered and 39 are still under treatment.

 
 
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