Chinese visitors decline significantly due to political climate.
The number of international visitors to Vietnam in February was estimated at about 756,000, up 7.9 per cent over the previous month but 10.2 per cent less than in February 2014. In the first two months of 2015 Vietnam welcomed 1,456,692 international visitors, down 10 per cent compared to the first two months last year.
Visitors from major markets such as China and Russia were both lower. Those from China saw the largest decline, of 50 per cent, because of political issues. The number of Russian tourists has been dramatically affected by the country’s economic woes, falling 23 per cent.
The South Korean market continued to grow significantly, with 145,563 arrivals during February, for growth of 25 per cent. Markets such as the US and Australia also showed positive signs. The number of American visitors in February was 57,308, up 20 per cent, while 45,237 Australian visited, for an increase of 14 per cent.
Mr. Nguyen Cong Hoan, Deputy Director of Hanoi Redtours, said that despite the recovery of Vietnam’s economy the Chinese market is declining for other reasons. The economic crisis and falling exchange rate in Russia, where people have tightened their spending and the government has announced policies to encourage domestic travel, have had a strong effect on tourist numbers. “The range of international visitors to Vietnam will become more diverse,” he said. “Numbers from Australia, the US and Europe have been maintained while there will be strong growth in other markets such as the Middle East and Southeast Asia.”