Vietnamese holiday-goers show a preference for Southeast Asian cities

By Nguyen Quy   June 17, 2019 | 06:00 am PT
Vietnamese holiday-goers show a preference for Southeast Asian cities
An aerial view from a monorail station at Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by Shutterstock/Fiqah Anugerah Dah Besa
Growing affluence has spurred Vietnamese holiday-goers to spend more on foreign jaunts, and Southeast Asia is heavily favored for this summer.  

Agoda, the world's leading online accommodation reservations provider, has used bookings data from June through August this year to assess the 10 most popular summer holiday destinations of Vietnamese travelers.

Its survey shows that Thailand’s Bangkok has overtaken many of the most famous Vietnamese tourist hotspots like Nha Trang, Da Lat, Phu Quoc and Quy Nhon to secure the second position on the list.  

Singapore took the fifth position and Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur stood in ninth while Paris topped the top 10 while being the only European city on this list.  

Vietnam's beach town Nha Trang ranked third in the list while the Central Highlands resort town of Da Lat took the sixth position, followed by Phu Quoc, the country's largest island (seventh), and the central coastal town of Quy Nhon (ninth).    

Citizens of ASEAN member nations can travel within the region without applying for visa and stay as a tourist for a maximum of 30 days.

The Grand Palace in Thailand. Photo by Shutterstock/Huy Thoai

The Grand Palace in Thailand. Photo by Shutterstock/Huy Thoai.

It is estimated that Vietnamese tourists spend $7-8 billion per year overseas, said Vu The Binh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association. "Vietnamese traveling abroad is a growing trend," he added.

Industry insiders said that as more Vietnamese join the middle class, they are increasingly looking outward for travel destinations.

A World Bank report in 2017 said the country is seeing an increasing number of people, estimated at 1.5 million each year, join the ranks of the middle and upper classes.

"As Vietnam’s economy grows, and an increasing number of citizens join the ranks of the global middle and upper classes, more people are going to take an interest in traveling the world," said Sean Preston, Visa's country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

A report by global market research firm Euromonitor in 2017 said outbound trips from Vietnam grew at an annual rate of 10-15 percent in the 2012-2017 period.

According to Mastercard, Vietnam has the second fastest growing outbound market in the Asia Pacific region after Myanmar, with projected annual growth of 9.5 percent between 2016 and 2021. The firm has forecast that some 7.5 million Vietnamese travelers will venture outside the country in 2021.

Vietnamese passport holders can travel to 51 countries and territories without applying for a visa, according to the 2019 Henley Passport Index.

The Agoda survey also indicated that Vietnam ranked second among most favored destinations for South Korean tourists, stood in fourth for Thai, eighth for Japanese and 10th for Singaporean.

The country welcomed 7.3 million arrivals during January-May, up 8.8 percent from a year ago, putting the it on track to meet its annual target of receiving 18 million foreigners this year, according to the General Statistics Office.

With recent changes to visa policies, the tourism industry hopes to get 17-20 million foreign visitors by 2020 and earn revenues of $35 billion a year, contributing 10 percent to the country’s GDP compared to 7.5 percent last year.

Last year a record 15.4 million visitors came to the country, a 20 percent increase over 2017.

A video captures the beauty of Vietnam.

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