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30 September 2009

Vietnam Tourism: US arrivals jump 36% in September

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China, the US and the Republic of Korea remain Vietnam ’s largest tourism markets despite waning overall numbers of foreign arrivals in September, reported.

Of the total number of foreign holidaymakers to Vietnam in September, up to 37,200 were from China , an increase of 3 percent against the same period last year, and 30,100 came from Korea.

The number of US tourists saw the largest rise of 36 percent in the reviewed period, reaching 35,400, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO).

However, the total number of foreign tourists in the first nine months of this year dropped by 16 percent from the same period last year to 2.7 million.

According to major domestic travel firms, the global economic crisis and the outbreaks of A/H1N1 influenza are the main factors behind decreases in foreign tourism.

To foster its recovery, the tourism industry is stepping up efforts to develop its infrastructure, revise local tourism planning schemes, increase promotional programmes abroad and strengthen international cooperation in the field.

Most noteworthy is the “Impressive Vietnam” promotional campaign which has been introduced at the country’s key tourist sites. It has draw the participation of 90 travel companies, 120 highly-ranked hotels and resorts, three transport firms and 20 major restaurants and shopping centres nationwide.

As part of the programme, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) proposed that relevant ministries and agencies exempt foreigners from visa fees, slash the value added tax by 50 percent and re-schedule tax payments for tourist enterprises.

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced its largest-ever discount of 60-70 percent on all domestic and international flights for travel companies participating in the campaign from October 1-December 31 in a move to stimulate demand.

However, Director of the VNAT’s Travel Department Vu The Binh said tourism companies need to work more closely together to improve the quality of services and create new products along with reducing prices.


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