Booming Russians Travel To Vietnam

Vietnam should map a careful strategy to maximise profits from a booming Russian travel market, according to Sai Gon Tiep Thi (Saigon Marketing) a local media outlet.

RussiaIn the opinion piece, the publication said Russian tourists were flocking to coastal destinations in Binh Thuan province, Ninh Thuan province and Nha Trang town turning the market into one of the most important travel sources for the country.

It quoted a local tour company based in Ho Chi Minh City, Lua Viet Tours’ chairman Nguyen Van My who said destinations were almost entirely relying on Russian visitors.

“The numbers have increased phenomenally, but they could fall off eventually…the country needs to be careful and create a comprehensive balanced strategy built on world markets rather than just a few.”

For January to April, this year, 112,869 Russian travelled to the country increasing 51.6% over the same period last year.

Russia was possibly Vietnam’s first travel supply markets dating back to when the country was still virtually closed to most travellers in the 1970s. Australia was a close second, while the arrival of Chinese tourists came  much later during the last 10 years or so.

During the cold war era, many of Vietnam’s high school graduates furthered their studies in universities in the former USSR and Russian was taught in schools as an unofficial second language. Russians were also give preferential status for visas and there was almost an open skies approach in place agreed on by the two nations’ aviation authorities.

The recent boom in Russian travellers is partly due to tour operators cutting tours to Egypt and Turkey in preference for Asian destinations.

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