Munich Airport eyes more Vietnam travelers
By Binh Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC - Munich Airport has joined forces with Thai Airways and travel partners of Germany and Austria over a major marketing program to attract more Vietnamese visitors, buoyed by a strong increase in Vietnamese arrivals.
Florian Poetsch, head of travel industry at Munich Airport, said when he was in HCMC last week that the airport, one of the most popular gateways to Europe for Asian travelers, recorded a significant rise in Asian passengers last year, particularly those from Vietnam.
“We saw the highest increase in passengers last year from Vietnam with a plus of 75%,” Poetsch said, though he did not give the exact number of Vietnamese visitors through Munich Airport in 2011.
Speaking to the Daily, Poetsch projected a 50%-70% jump in Vietnamese travelers through Munich Airport this year was obtainable because of the fact that from this airport travelers were able to explore the “Jewels of Romantic Europe” sites of natural and historical values in Bavaria, Tirol and other parts of Germany and Austria.
Narinthorn Purnagupta, general manager of Thai Airways in Vietnam, said it was easy for Vietnamese visitors to travel from Munich Airport to not only Austria but also Switzerland, Czech Republic and Italy. To facilitate air travel from Vietnam, Thai Airways provided convenient connectivity between Vietnam and Airport Munich via the airline’s hub in Bangkok with daily schedule.
Narinthorn told the Daily that Thai Airways’ flights departing every day from Hanoi and HCMC in the morning better connected to the carrier’s services between Bangkok and Munich Airport.
As scheduled, the airline’s flights take off Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC at 10:20 a.m. and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi at 10:35 a.m. and land at Bangkok at 11:45 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. respectively. Passengers on these flights then board the Boeing 747-400 the airline uses for the Bangkok-Munich flight that departs at 13:25 p.m. of the same day.
Poetsch of Munich Airport said Vietnamese-language brochures and a website at www.romantic-jewels.com/vietnam had come online to help Vietnamese travelers find information about the “Jewels of Romantic Europe” and other places of interest. The website also offers other Asian languages in response to the growing interest in Asia for holidays to Germany and Austria.
According to the Munich Tourist Office, this European city saw a strong increase in overnight stays of people from Southeast Asia, and the number almost doubled from 78,999 overnight stays in 2009 to 147,012 last year. The rise in the first quarter of 2012 was 19.6%, making Southeast Asia the 10th visitor-generating market for Munich.