Nguyen Thi Thanh, an office worker in Hanoi, who recently returned from a tour to the Republic of Korea (RoK), said he was surprised when meeting so many Vietnamese travelers in the country.
Thanh said the tour was good. “I bought a lot of clothes and cosmetics,” she said.
“The prices of the goods were not much cheaper than the ones in Vietnam. But I can be sure the products are not counterfeit and they are really made in the RoK,” she explained, adding that traveling abroad to go shopping is now in fashion among Vietnamese.
According to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), in 2015, the country received 167,000 Vietnamese travelers, while the figure reached 138,000 in the first seven months of the year.
The RoK has become one of the favorite choices for high-income Vietnamese travelers.
Nguyen Phi Van in Phu Nhuan district in HCM City said travel firms now offer tours to the RoK with fees of VND12-12 million per traveler, a ‘very reasonable price’ for Van.
“You would have to pay VND25-30 million if you wanted to travel to the RoK several years ago. But tours are getting cheaper,” she commented.
The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) also reported the considerable increase in the number of Vietnamese travelers to country in 2015 to 185,000 (up by 49% over the year before).
In the first five months of the year alone, 106,000 Vietnamese travelers went to the country. The number of Vietnamese travelers to Japan has increased by 50% per annum in the last three consecutive years.
Not only traveling to the RoK and Japan, Vietnamese also like tours to countries such as Dubai in UAE, Russia, Australia and Europe. Travel firms in HCM City all have reported two-digit growth rates in recent years.
According to Tran Thi Viet Huong from Vietravel, the travel firm organized overseas tours for 98,000 travelers in the first six months of the year alone, which represented the sharp increase of 107% in comparison with the same period last year.
As Vietnam has become an attractive market, it has been ‘pampered’ by foreign travel firms which offer many preferences. Some governments have applied policies to attract Vietnamese travelers, from visa to marketing policies.
“The RoK and Japan carry out tourism promotion campaigns in Vietnam to stimulate demand. Vietnamese travel firms can receive big support from them,” Huong said.
Tran Thi Bao Thu from Fiditour said that foreign tourism agencies follow very professional marketing campaigns in Vietnam.
They constantly launch promotion programs and reduce tour fees. Singapore renews products once every six months, while Malaysia and Thailand run sales programs with sharp discount rates.