Director of Viet Tourism, Mr. Tran Van Long, said the number of tourists who booked China tours in the last two months reduced by around 30 percent, with over 100 people/month. The previous number was 300-350 tourists. Autumn is the best season for visiting China but Viet Tourism has had only 3-4 groups of tourists who booked the tour.
Saigontourist’s Doan Thanh Tra also said that this firm’s number of visitors to mainland China dropped by nearly 30 percent this summer, with around 650 people. However, the number of tourists to Hong Kong and Macau was still on the rise. “The reduction is mainly for State-funded visitors,” Tra said.
Vietran Tour managing director, Ms. Nguyen Thi Huyen, admitted the similar phenomenon with her company, citing economic recession as the major reason.
However, some Vietnamese tourists said that recent tension in the East Sea was another reason.
A Hanoi tourist who has just returned from Guangzhou-Shenzhen tour said that only her family bought this tour. Other relatives of her were afraid of the tension in the East Sea so they bought tours to Singapore-Malaysia, instead of China.
The volume of Chinese visitors to Vietnam in June-July also reduced compared to the same period of last year. In June, 79,000 Chinese entered Vietnam, equivalent to 68 percent of June 2011 and 90,700 in July, equivalent to 87 percent, reported the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Hanoitourist’s director Luu Duc Ke said his company was preparing to welcome 800 Chinese visitors to Ha Long and Ninh Binh. He said the reduction was caused by economic recession.
Vice Chair of the Vietnam Tourism Association, Mr. Vu The Binh, said that it is normal when the number of Vietnamese tourists to China reduced because of economic crisis and high visa fee to China ($60), plus more complicated entrance formalities. The tour prices to China are also expensive for Vietnamese.
“The tension in the East Sea is also a factor because tourism is very sensitive to politic situation, but it was not the main reason for the reduction of Vietnamese tourists to China recently. However, if the situation in the East Sea keeps being tense, impacts on the tourism industry will be stronger,” Binh said.Compiled by The Anh