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Vietnamese arrivals to Japan up 50 pct as tour prices fall

Saturday, August 23, 2014, 13:49 GMT+7

The number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Japan in the first six months of this year has surged 50 percent year on year, a tourism association has reported, citing a significant reduction in tour prices to the East Asian country.

More than 70,000 Vietnamese holidaymakers visited Japan in the first half of this year, a 50 percent rise from a year earlier, the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents said in a report last week.

The Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) shared similar statistics during a visit to Vietnam.

The chief officials of the 11 tour organizers who make up JATA have been working with their Vietnamese counterparts to seek cooperation and partnership, as well as to increase tourism between the two countries.

During a meeting on Friday with Saigontourist, a leading Vietnamese travel agent, JATA deputy chairman Kazuaki Maruo, who is also CEO of Nippon Travel Agent, said the number of Vietnamese tourists to Japan has grown strongly over the past few years.

Saigontourist CEO Vo Anh Tai, who is also deputy chairman of the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents, attributed the healthy growth to falling tour prices to Japan.

“There are more airlines offering nonstop services between Vietnam and Japan, while Japanese tour organizers are also selling their packages and services at competitive prices,” Tai elaborated.

Vietnamese arrivals to Japan only began rising in the last three years, as the two countries’ governments released policies intended to boost tourist numbers, according to the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents.

In 2013, Japanese arrivals to Vietnam hit a record high of 604,000, while 85,000 Vietnamese also visited the East Asian country, the society said.

There are currently daily flights connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with several Japanese cities, and the Vietnamese travel society has also set up a representative office in Japan.

“Should Japanese and Vietnamese tourism authorities enter a more comprehensive cooperation, the costs of traveling to Japan will certainly drop further, and the number of Vietnamese tourists to Japan will soar accordingly,” the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents said.

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