Ho Chi Minh City has set a target of receiving 1.5 million Chinese tourists a year by 2020 and making China the biggest source of holidaymakers to the southern metropolis, a top tourism official said Tuesday.
Some 540,000 tourists from China visited Ho Chi Minh City last year, with local tourism authorities planning to triple the figure in the next two years, La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the municipal tourism department, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Khanh said there is room to attract more Chinese tourists to Ho Chi Minh City, and the municipal tourism authorities also seek to boost bilateral tourism ties between China and Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City and China are expected to hold a tourism promotion seminar to increase Chinese arrivals to the city, Khanh said.
The event will be attended by about 200 travel businesses from the two countries, who will discuss ways to create more attractions to meet the tastes of Chinese holidaymakers in the city, particularly in District 5, home to many Chinese Vietnamese.
On May 5, a delegation from the Chinese Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City visited some of the city’s river tourism destinations, he added.
Khanh also acknowledged the phenomenon of the so-called ‘zero tour,’ involving visitors from China traveling to Vietnam at dirt cheap prices and only taken to shops and restaurants built exclusively for Chinese tourists in the Southeast Asian country.
“The Ho Chi Minh City tourism department will coordinate with other agencies to tighten control over travel firms to prevent downsides such as these ‘zero-dollar’ tours,” Khanh underlined.