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Vietnam the leading choice in Asia-Pacific for Russian tourists

Released at: 08:18, 19/06/2019

Vietnam the leading choice in Asia-Pacific for Russian tourists

The central beach in the Nha Trang City where a lot of Russian tourists come to relax. Photo: Le Diem

Russian visitor numbers to Vietnam continue to increase, recent survey confirms.

by Le Diem

Vietnam has seen a sharp increase in the number of Russian visitors to the country and become their top choice among Asia-Pacific destinations, according to global travel analysis firm ForwardKeys.

From May 2018 to April 2019, Russian arrivals to the Asia-Pacific region rose 54.5 per cent, far outstripping the 3.8 per cent growth of all international arrivals to the region, according to its latest survey.

Many selected Vietnam as their first choice, which increased 153 per cent. If it continues to rise in the years to come, Vietnam may surpass its neighbor Thailand, a long-favored Russian haunt, which saw growth of 125 per cent in the survey. The Maldives increased 58 per cent, followed by South Korea and India, with increases of more than 30 per cent.

The opening of direct air routes from multiple secondary and tertiary cities in Russia to Vietnam’s popular beach city Nha Trang is largely behind the increase. Last year, Russia’s S7 Airlines launched direct flights connecting Irkutsk city with Cam Ranh city in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, while Vladivostok Air began operating daily flights from Vladivostok and Khabarovsk to Cam Ranh even earlier.

Home to Nha Trang and with a number of resorts, Khanh Hoa has been a popular spot for Russian tourists for many years. Many signs are in Russian, as are shop price tags and restaurant menus.

Fifteen-day visa exemptions for visitors from several countries, including Russia, have also attracted more tourists. Many travel agencies have called for local authorities to extend the exemption from 15 days to 30 days and for the relaxation of visa policies and the simplification of procedures to attract high-spending tourists from Japan, North America, Northern Europe, China, and South Korea.

Russia is the sixth-largest source market for Vietnam’s tourism sector, with mainland China topping the list, followed by South Korea, Japan, Taiwan (China), and the US. Vietnam welcomed a record 606,000 Russians last year, accounting for 4 per cent of all foreign tourist arrivals. Nearly 400,000 visited Khanh Hoa, an increase of 1.5 per cent year-on-year, with Russia the province’s second-largest market after China and accounting for one-fifth of all foreign arrivals.

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