|Tourists at the popular Bùi Viện ‘backpacker street’ in downtown HCM City. The city plans to attract tourists from Cambodia, which is a promising source of visitors. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp|
HCM CITY — Việt Nam is seeking to attract high-end tourists from Cambodia, which is rapidly emerging as a promising source of visitors.
With its proximity, Cambodia has become a significant market for Việt Nam, travel industry insiders said.
It was among the top 10 markets in the first half of this year, with arrivals surging by 338 per cent from the same period in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
In the past a majority of Cambodian tourists visited Việt Nam for medical treatment, but the pandemic has upended travel trends.
But now there is an increase in weekend tourists visiting border areas, leisure travellers and those seeking longer experiences.
Their significant purchasing power is one of the key factors contributing to their interest in Việt Nam.
Tourism insiders have pointed out that these tourists spend an average amount comparable to Korean tourists.
Việt Nam’s convenient geographical location, beautiful coastlines and attractive cuisine are among the factors that make the country appealing to Cambodian tourists.
Improved transportation networks, including direct flights and well-connected roads, have made travelling from Cambodia to Việt Nam easier than ever before.
Vietravel, a tourism company, has witnessed a 10 per cent growth in the number of package tourists from Cambodia in the first five months compared to the same period in 2019.
To capitalise on the potential of Cambodian tourists, the company plans to develop combined tours in Tây Ninh, a province located near the border.
These tours will include resort tourism, medical tourism and religious tourism.
It is also exploring the possibility of starting flights between major Cambodian cities and key tourism destinations in Việt Nam.
Trần Quốc Thịnh, director of Tây Ninh Province’s Tourism Promotion Centre, said Cambodian tourists primarily arrive through border gates due to the low travel costs and convenient bus services.
"The Mộc Bài Border Gate is a key entry point by road, and entry formalities take only around half an hour, ensuring a hassle-free experience for visitors," he said.
While there are opportunities to attract more Cambodian tourists, there are some challenges that need to be addressed, according to experts.
The frequency of flights between Cambodia and Vietnamese tourism destinations is currently limited and not fully utilised by many airlines.
Tourism products for Cambodian visitors need to be diversified further.
Furthermore, promotion and marketing efforts targeted at the Cambodian market remain limited.
To address these challenges and attract more Cambodian tourists, Thịnh said promotion programmes had been organised in Tây Ninh Province.
The HCM City Tourism Department also plans to promote medical tourism products specifically tailored for Cambodians.
These efforts aim to enhance the attractiveness of Việt Nam as a destination for Cambodian tourists and facilitate their travel experiences. — VNS