HCM CITY — The number of tourists from China, Việt Nam’s largest source market, declined by 4 per cent in the first four months of the year to reach nearly 1.71 million tourist arrivals, according to the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism.
China has surpassed other markets to become the top source market since 2017, but the number dropped by 2 per cent in December and by 10.7 per cent in January.
The downward trend continued in March, down 14 per cent year-on-year, after bouncing back in February (up 6.8 per cent).
The decline was seen in Chinese holidaymakers on charter flights to beach hotels and resorts in Việt Nam, according to travel firms.
A representative of Saigontourist, one of the country’s leading travel operators, said that low-cost charter flights from major cities of China to Việt Nam had resulted in the strong growth of travelers from the country.
In addition, the skyrocketing growth of Chinese tourists on cheap tour packages or so-called “zero-đồng” tours with poor service quality has adversely affected the country’s tourism reputation, contributing to the drop in Chinese travelers to Việt Nam.
Từ Quý Thành, director of Liên Bang Travelink, which specialises in Chinese-speaking markets, said tourism authorities should offer incentive policies for Chinese travel firms to encourage them to send Chinese holidaymakers to Việt Nam.
Japanese and South Korean government tourism administrations have offered gifts, discounts or free services for Vietnamese travel firms that send tourists to their countries, Thành said.
The Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism will host a tourism promotion programme in Chengdu, Chongqing, and Shenzhen in China from May 15-24.
Việt Nam welcomed more than 5.96 million international tourists in the first four months, a year-on-year increase of 7.6 percent.
China remained the top source market, with nearly 1.71 million tourist arrivals. It was followed by South Korea with nearly 1.5 million, and Japan with 300,000 tourist arrivals, up 23 per cent and 8 per cent year-on-year, respectively. — VNS