|South Korean visitors in Danang.|
Statistics from the Danang Department of Tourism show that the city welcomed 1.3 million South Korean tourists last year, double the previous year. During the Reunification Day Holiday on April 30, well-known destinations received hundreds of visitors daily. Many restaurants in Danang have Korean on their signs. Eight airlines have direct South Korea flights which may be the major cause for the surge of visitors.
Hoi An Town Vice Chairman Nguyen Van Son said the number of South Korean tourists in town had increased sharply since 2016. More South Korean tourists have chosen Vietnam over China as their destination. Last year, over 240,000 South Korean visitors came to Hoi An, increased by 70% on 2016 and was higher than the number of Chinese tourists which was 200,000.
“Many tourism firms in South Korea chose Vietnam because of nice beaches, a wide range of food and cultural sites. Many local airlines have cooperated with South Korean partners to provide more services,” Son said.
However, Son said they were targeting European visitors. He said South Korean visitors had flocked to Thailand and Indonesia for only a while and worried that they would stop coming to Vietnam in near future.
The sudden surge of tourists also has some drawbacks. Nguyen Anh Toan, a tour guide in Danang said the number of guides that know Korean was lacking so they can only receive small groups.
Booked tours to Vietnam also increased. Fiditour reported a 45% increase in 2017 thanks to many destinations that have been recognised by UNESCO and socio-political stability. Tran Thi Thu Bao, head of the Department of Communication and Marketing of Fiditour, said, “The high number of visitors from South Korea helps Vietnam become less dependent on other markets and boost local tourism sector.”
Read full article at VietNamNet: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/travel/200389/vietnam-becomes-popular-destination-for-south-koreans.html
Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)
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