China, the neighbouring country with high cultural and historical values, was once the favourite choice for Vietnamese travellers. However, things are changing: they tend to go to Thailand, Singapore, Japan or South Korea.
Tours to China not favoured anymore
Domestic tours have become the choice of many Vietnamese travellers
The number of Vietnamese travellers who want to go to Chinese cities has been decreasing steadily. Nguyen My Phuong from Huong Giang travel firm said on An ninh thu do that her firm does not organise regular tours to China, while it only organises tours when orders come.
“We recently have not got any orders to organise tours to China from clients, while no one has called and asked information about the tours,” she said.
Luu Duc Ke, Director of Hanoitourist, has also confirmed that the number of Vietnamese travellers to China and the number of Chinese visitors to Vietnam both have decreased. “In some cases, we designed tours already, but as there was no client, the tours were canceled,” Ke said.
He added that a lot of families and individuals initially decided to travel to China, but they then changed their mind, choosing other destinations and short term tours which have lower costs, such as Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Meanwhile, a tour operator of a travel firm, who asked to be anonymous, has revealed that many tours to Beijing and Shanghai designed by his firm have been canceled, because the firm could not find enough travellers as requested to be able to enjoy preferential airfares.
Some travel firms also say they still have regular travellers who book tours to China, but they fear the number of tourists would decrease in the time to come.
Pham Thi Ngoc, PR Director of Hanoi Redtours, said that the firm now has stable numbers of tourists who plan to go to China, and that every month, the firm organises tours for six or seven groups of tourists. However, Ngoc thinks that the number of tourists to China may decrease.
Sources said that Vietnamese people now refuse to go to China, partially because of the information that some Vietnamese travellers, who arrived in Guangzhou, were still allowed to enter the city even though no stamp was made on their passports to certify the entry. This has raised worries that troubles may occur during the time the tourists are in China.
Vietnamese travellers flocking to Thailand and Singapore
Tien phong has quoted Dang Nguyen, Head of the Outbound Tour Division of PIT Tour as saying, “that over the last month, the firm has to move heaven and earth to arrange coaches for Vietnamese tourists in Thailand. Especially, some groups of tourists have to visit a shopping mall in Thailand just to be able to use the coaches of the mall.”
Coaches to carry tourists are seriously lacking in Thailand due to the sharp increase in the number of Vietnamese tourists in the country.
“Many Vietnamese people travel to Thailand these days. Safari World in Thailand some days received up to 50 groups of Vietnamese tourists, which is 10 times higher than that in ordinary days,” Nguyen said.
Director of a travel firm said that a flight of Turkish Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City City to Bangkok one day carried eight groups of Vietnamese visitors.
Tran Doan The Duy, Deputy General Director of Vietravel, said that the number of visitors who book tours to Thailand has increased by 30 percent recently. Every day, the travel firm receives the booking from at least 4-5 groups of tourists. Duy said some days, Vietravel booked all the idle seats on the flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok at Lufthansa (150-170 seats).