Vietnamese spend $6 billion to travel

HCM City / DPA

Around five million Vietnamese travelled abroad last year spending US$6 billion, according to the Viet Nam Society of Travel Agents.
The number travelling abroad is increasing rapidly, especially of those going to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the US, and Cambodia, travel agents said.
Tran Thi Viet Huong, marketing director of State giant Vietravel, said last year the number of her company’s outbound customers grew by 145 per cent.
If Vietnamese used to go abroad to satisfy their curiosity about a strange country, their travelling trends have changed.
They travel abroad more frequently and for other purposes.”
Many other travel companies also reported 15-25 per cent increases in the number of outbound travellers.
Huong attributed this to the easing of travel regulations, including visa rules, and reasonable tour prices.
Other countries have taken the initiative to promote themselves to Vietnamese tourists. These countries also offer promotions like paying after the visit or in installments.”
Thailand has even sent tour guides to Vietnam to learn the country’s language and understand Vietnamese tourists’ tastes and desires.
South Korea realised that Vietnamese like to watch its movies and began to offer tours to places featured in films.
Huong said many of Vietnam’s tour products are interesting, like visits to flower fields and relaxing in luxurious villas, but in general the country’s tourism is weaker than that of other countries.
Ly Truong Chien, an economist, said low-quality services, high prices, uncreative and uncontrolled exploitation are the reasons Vietnamese are not fond of travelling around their country.
There are things we do purely for temporary benefit and destroy nature,” he said, citing the installation of cable cars, misuse of beaches, and renovation of relics as examples.

Dao Xuan Khuong, another economist, said, “In general, Vietnam’s tourism products do not satisfy tourists’ demands due to the lack of interesting products.

Travel companies should study the demands of tourists and create products accordingly, he said.

“Tour programmes should not just list places and foods.”

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