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Last updated: Thursday, September 21, 2017

 

Vietnam-Russia: Burgeoning Tourism Development Cooperation

Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017


The tourism cooperation between Vietnam and Russia has seen remarkable progress and contributed significantly to the development of the Vietnamese economy, as well as the fine relationship between the two countries. Over the past five years, Russian tourist arrivals to Vietnam have increased by about 50 per cent annually.

Tourism not only brings economic benefits but also helps people understand customs and practices of each other. Russia is one of seven leading tourist markets of Vietnam. Russian tourists stay long and spend much when they are in Vietnam. However, due to unfavourable geographical distance, mobility, information and visa issues, Russian tourist arrivals to Vietnam are yet to meet expectations.

According to statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the growth of Russian visitor arrivals to Vietnam has been highest among foreign tourist markets of Vietnam in recent years. Vietnam welcomed 174,000 Russian visitors in 2012, up 71 per cent year on year, and nearly 300,000 visitors in 2013, also up over 70 per cent. The country served 430,000 Russian tourists in 2016 and 275,000 in the first five months of 2017, up 152 per cent year on year.

According to experts, Vietnam is strong at maritime tourism – “a cup of coffee” to Russians during winter holidays. Normally, Russian tourists spend some 15 days exploring Vietnam or just simply staying in resorts and spas with beautiful sea views and sunny beaches in Da Nang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. These destinations also have very professional hospitality facilities.

According to hospitality experts, Russian arrivals to Vietnam are still below expectations given the two countries’ advantages and relations because of economic fluctuations, tightened spending and overseas travelling reduction of Russians. In addition, Vietnam lacks tourism promotion information to Russians while Russian-liked destinations like Ninh Thuan, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue do not have direct flights to Russia. Furthermore, unattractive visa policy is also one of the factors that reduce the magnetism of Vietnamese tourism to Russian tourists.

Vietnam's tourism industry aims to welcome 1 million Russian visitors by 2020. An official from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said that, to achieve this, the tourism industry must focus on promoting and developing locally unique tourism products and brands, ensure the quality of services, and enhance the quality of human resources, especially Russian-speaking guides, security and safety for tourists.

To boost communications in both in Russia and Vietnam, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, in addition to introducing a safe, friendly and attractive Vietnam to Russian tourists, information on tourism products in Vietnam such as blue sea, white sand and sunshine for Russian winter vacations, Vietnam also has many local unique products such as shopping tours, Mekong Delta experience, shopping tours in Da Lat, medical hospitality and sea seafood.

Regarding visa, the tourism sector will propose appropriate visa policies for the Russian market to competent authorities for early adoption. In addition, it will also have working programmes with airlines and Russian-favoured localities to jointly introduce solutions to attract Russian visitors.

According to tourism companies, in the long run, Vietnam will still have to prepare new attractive destinations. Tour prices offered Russians are reasonable, but discounts or preferential prices will make Vietnam a more appealing place.

For its part, the Russian Federation is also keen on drawing more Vietnamese tourists to Russia. The country with beautiful natural landscapes and rich historical traditions is a charming destination for Vietnamese tourists. Therefore, it is essential for both sides to work together to build tourism infrastructure and facilities in Russia to enhance tourism cooperation.

Anh Mai








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