Vietnam is Korea's top ASEAN tourist market

By Phuong Anh   September 30, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
Vietnam is Korea's top ASEAN tourist market
A Vietnamese tourist visits Cheomseongdae observatory in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, South Korea. Photo by Nguyen Anh Tuan
About 350,000 Vietnamese people visited South Korea in the first nine months, the highest number among Southeast Asian countries, as tourism activities between the two countries showed signs of recovery.

The nine-month figure was equivalent to 77% of South Korea’s 2023 target this year. The country is expecting to welcome 420,000 Vietnamese tourists by the end of the year, said Chief Representative of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in Vietnam Lee Jae Hoon on Thursday.

South Korea has long been a favorite tourist destination for Vietnamese.

In 2019, over 550,000 Vietnamese visited the country.

The availability of budget tours and direct flights by low-cost carriers have made South Korea a top choice for Vietnamese tourists.

A series of Vietnamese carriers recently launched new routes connecting Vietnam’s tourist destinations to South Korea’s major cities.

Last July, Vietjet Air operated the first direct route connecting the resort town of Da Lat in the Central Highlands with Busan, South Korea’s largest coastal city.

The budget carrier also recently opened a new route connecting Hue and Seoul.

Since Vietnam reopened its borders to foreign tourists in March last year, South Korea has become the Southeast Asian nation’s largest source of tourist arrivals.

In the first nine months of this year, Vietnam welcomed over 2.5 million South Koreans.

Lee said KTO would continue promoting tourism programs, improving the overall quality of tours, and helping Vietnamese travel firms serve Korean tourists in Vietnam.

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