Vietnamese visit Thailand twice more than Thais visit Vietnam

By Phuong Anh   November 3, 2023 | 11:00 pm PT
Vietnamese visit Thailand twice more than Thais visit Vietnam
Vietnamese tourists dressed in traditional Thai costumes take a selfie at Wat Arun temple ahead of the Lunar New Year in Bangkok, Thailand, January 18, 2023. Photo by Reuters/Chalinee Thirasupa
Thailand's "better connected" tourism sector drew 900,000 Vietnamese visitors in the first 10 months, nearly twice the number of Thai visitors to Vietnam, according to industry insiders.

Thailand’s visa waivers and more convenient air travel have been cited by experts as two main reasons for the dearth in figures.

A series of Vietnamese and Thai carriers recently increased the number of direct air routes connecting major tourism hubs in the two countries, making travel easier than ever, said Nguyen Trung Khanh, chairman of the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT), at a recent conference.

Thai Airways began resumed its Vietnam services Oct. 29, while national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines announced that it plans to launch a direct route between the central coastal city of Da Nang and the Thai capital of Bangkok in November.

Vietravel Airlines launched its Ho Chi Minh City-Bangkok route earlier this year as part of a broader effort to expand its Vietnam-Thailand network.

Ngo Minh Duc, chairman of the Board of Directors of HG Aviation, predicted that in the next two years, the number of Vietnamese visitors to Thailand could reach 1.2-1.3 million.

"Thailand is always a top favorite destination for Vietnamese tourists thanks to short-haul flights with cheap prices. If flying from Hanoi, it takes only two hours, and from Ho Chi Minh City it takes 70-80 minutes," Duc said.

Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang, deputy general director of Vietravel, said there are many reasons Vietnamese tourists flock to Thailand, and one of them is cheap tour packages.

A four-night tour package from HCMC to Bangkok and Pattaya currently costs around VND6-8 million (US$243-325), which is even lower than a tour price to Phu Quoc Island off Vietnam’s southern coast.

Hoang said the Thai tourism industry has grown strongly thanks to close connections between service providers – including transportation, accommodation, attractions and shopping complexes – which creates competitive tour prices.

In Vietnam there is almost no such connection to lower tour prices and attract tourists, he said.

Last year, Thailand received 470,000 tourists from Vietnam, nearly half of the pre-pandemic figure.

go to top