The number of overseas Vietnamese coming back to the motherland to enjoy the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday via HCMC is projected to increase substantially over the same period last year, said Tran Hoa Phuong, deputy head of the HCMC Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.
Phuong gave no statistics on the number, but said he predicted a strong increase given difficulties in booking air tickets as well as an increase in flights to cater to the strong demand.
“It is hard to book flight tickets since the seat occupancy is fully occupied,” Phuong reckoned.
As uncertainties in the world economy increase, more overseas Vietnamese choose the country as a destination for their festive holiday due to the lower cost of living back home.
The number of Vietnamese going back to Vietnam via Tan Son Nhat Airport reached 400,000 people in last year’s Tet.
It is estimated that over 500,000 people would come back for Tet holidays in 2011 compared to the previous year’s number of 480,000 for the whole country, according to the National Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.
Overseas remittance flowed into Vietnam through HCMC-based banks increased to US$5 billion last year from the previous level of US4.15 billion a year before.
In fact, the amount of remittance poured into Vietnam in 2011 would be likely higher than the given figure because overseas Vietnamese also sent their money via unofficial channels.
The World Bank has earlier reported that remittance poured into Vietnam last year was estimated to reach US$9 billion, showing a 10% year-on-year increase. SGT