Sharp drop in international arrivals

April 29, 2015 4:52 am 

HA NOI, April 28 — The number of international visitors arriving in Viet Nam during the first four months of this year dropped by 12.2 percent from the same period last year to 2.69 million.

This was derived from data furnished by the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.

Visitors arriving by air, made up for 83 percent of the total international arrivals, and fell by 9 percent over the same period last year, while arrivals by train and road dropped by a hefty 30 and 25 percent, respectively.

In April alone, Viet Nam received more than 690 international visitors, up by 11.7 percent from the previous month, but dropped by 7.4 percent over the same month last year.

The number of visitors from Asia to Viet Nam during the four-month period fell by 12.9 percent from a year ago to 1.73 million, with a considerable decline in the number of visitors from china (down 33.2 percent), Cambodia (down 28.1 percent), Thailand (down 23.7 percent), Laos (down 35.5 percent) and Indonesia (down 21.6 percent).

The number of visitors from Europe also slipped 8.4 percent, especially from Russia, down by 19.9 percent.

However, during this period, Viet Nam saw a surge in the number of visitors from South Korea by 33.4 percent and Finland, up by 27 percent. Modest increases were also seen in several markets, including Spain, Singapore, Italy, the United States and Germany.

china and Korea were two markets, which had the highest number of visitors going to Viet Nam, with more than 187,000 and 85,200 during the first four months, respectively, data showed.

The number of international visitors coming to Viet Nam had started falling at the beginning of this year after reaching a peak of 7.87 million in 2014, forcing the tourism sector to introduce measures to renovate and attract more tourists.

Experts said although the number of international visitors had dropped partly due to the impact of the global economic recession and the slump in several currencies, making trips more expensive, Viet Nam needed to improve its tourism and hospitality services and renovate tourism products.

According to the Deputy Ch airman of the Viet Nam Tourism Association (VAT), Vu The Binh, the tourism industry of Viet Nam lacked innovation, which hardly compelled tourists to return.

Tourism promotional activities also remained weak, Nguyen Cong Hoan, the deputy director of Ha Noi Red Tours, said. The expense budget allocated to tourism promotion in Viet Nam was only VND30 to 40 billion (USD1.38-USD1.85 million) a year, which was modest in comparison with the millions of dollars spent by Thailand or Malaysia.

In addition, there was a lack of coordination among promotional activities at the country and local levels and among localities.

Hoan said Viet Nam needed to formulate a long-term promotional strategy for the tourism industry to attract more international tourists, together with preparations in infrastructure, such as hotels and restaurants, along with enhanced service quality. (PNA/VNS)

FFC/EBP

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