Vietnam still looks forward to Chinese tourists, despite problems

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VietNamNet Bridge – Despite the ‘zero-dong tours’ and a number of problems caused by Chinese travelers, Vietnam is still preparing to receive travelers from China, a large market with great potential.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) on May 11 asked people’s committees of cities and provinces to strengthen management and maintain the growth rate of the Chinese market, creating momentum for the development of tourism in 2017 and upcoming years.

China is the leading market in the world in the number of tourists and travelers’ spending. Many destination points in the region and the world apply policies to compete to attract Chinese travelers.

China is the leading market in the world in the number of tourists and travelers’ spending. Many destination points in the region and the world apply policies to compete to attract Chinese travelers.

Pham Trung Luong, former deputy head of the Tourism Research Institute, commented that China is a vast market which Vietnam needs to retain, but the tourism administration has not mentioned solutions.

“We need to take action to mitigate the negative impact Chinese travelers may have in Vietnam,” he said.

“It is necessary to have reasonable policies to settle the ‘zero-dong tours’, to stop the shops which only serve Chinese travelers, and to stop the collusion between Vietnamese travel firms and Chinese,” he said.

‘Zero dong tours’ are tours with no fees paid to travel firms. However, the firms earn money from the exorbitant prices tourists are charged at certain shops and for using other kinds of services.

Reports show that the money Chinese spent traveling abroad increased sharply in 2016. However, they continue to book ‘zero dong’ tours when visiting Vietnam.

VNAT’s head Nguyen Van Tuan, when talking to the local press, emphasized that localities need tailored policies to curb poor-quality tours.

Meanwhile, local newspapers said that ‘zero dong tours’ are ‘poisonous’ and ‘blight’ on Vietnam.

The expert commented that Vietnam needs to diversify markets and not rely on certain markets like China. Though China is a vast market, Vietnam needs to learn lesson from the dramatic fall in Chinese travelers in 2014.

Luong attributed the problem to Vietnam’s bad management.

He also pointed out that Chinese travelers’ spending is among the highest in the world, but this must be seen as total spending thanks to the high number of travelers. The average spending per person is not high.

Nguyen Van My, director of a travel firm, said the number of Chinese travelers is growing steadily. Chinese still flock to Vietnam through the Mong Cai border gate.

Source: VietnamNet

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