Vietnam becomes China’s second largest tourism market

By Nguyen Quy   April 2, 2019 | 05:05 am PT
Vietnam becomes China’s second largest tourism market
The Palace Museum in Beijing, China. Photo by Reuters
Vietnam overtook South Korea to claim second spot among top 10 source markets for tourism in China last year.

According to statistics released late last month by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, more than 6.3 million Vietnamese tourists visited the country last year, double the figure in 2016, making Vietnam the second biggest feeder market for Chinese tourism after Myanmar.

South Korea ranked third on the list of top 10 major markets for inbound tourism in China, followed by Japan, the U.S., Russia, Mongolia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

China, forecast to become the world’s most visited country by 2030 by global research company Euromonitor International, received a total of 141.2 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2018, up 1.2 percent from a year ago and earned $127 billion in tourism revenues.

China’s proximity to Vietnam has made it a popular destination among outbound Vietnamese travelers who want a vacation overseas without a long haul journey.

The surge in Vietnamese tourist numbers in China has been credited to the long shared border, prompting the governments of both countries to establish a special type of border travel, which does not require passports or visas.

The launch of more direct flights connecting Vietnam’s big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with China in recent years has also contributed to the growth in outbound Vietnamese travelers.

China has always been Vietnam's main source of tourists in recent years, accounting for 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, reveal the average daily spending by the Chinese in Vietnam increased from $118.6 in 2014 to $130 last year.

This was below what Chinese visitors spent in Thailand ($180), Indonesia ($183) and Singapore ($446).

A Bloomberg report said 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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