People in Vietnam are becoming more inclined to take overseas vacations as they are willing to empty their pockets on costly tours as well as expensive services during their trips to foreign countries.
To many domestic and foreign tour operators, Vietnam has emerged as a lucrative tourism market given that an increasing number of locals do not hesitate to spend big on overseas journeys.
According to Tran Doan The Duy, deputy general director of Ho Chi Minh City-based tour operator Vietravel, the company has had to introduce new trips and destinations on a regular basis to meet local demand.
The number of tourists embarking on Vietravel’s trips to Taiwan in 2017 rose by an astonishing 170 percent compared to the previous year, Duy said, adding the travelers to Japan and South Korea also increased by 30 percent.
Fiditour, another travel agent in Ho Chi Minh City, reported that the number of its overseas tour buyers has surged by 25 to 30 percent per annum over the past years.
Statistics from the Korea Tourism Organization showed that the number of Vietnamese visitors to the East Asian nation exceeded 330,000 in 2017, up by nearly 30 percent.
A desire to explore new places and cultures, an affordable cost, diverse services, and lower chances of scams and overcharging are among the reasons why people prefer overseas tours, according to local tour organizers.
Sean Preston, country manager in charge of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos at Visa, said a growing middle class has fueled the demand for foreign trips.
Preston’s survey showed that an average Vietnamese tourist will travel abroad five times in the next two years. The previous figure was only 3.5 times per person.
Vietnamese travelers also do not hold back when it comes to shopping on their trips.
|Vietnamese people visit a village in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
According to Tran Van Long, general director of Du Lich Viet (Viet Tourism) Company, a Vietnamese tourist often spends over US$1,000 on shopping while traveling in Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, and Thailand.
The amount will be much higher if the they are taking vacations in Europe, Long stated, adding that the money spent was only about $500 three years ago.
Experts highlighted that certain products are cheaper in foreign countries than after they are imported into Vietnam.
The vacationers are spared the risk of buying counterfeit merchandise, they added.
Nguyen Ngoc Hung, a tour guide with more than eight years of experience, stated that some travelers are willing to purchase goods also widely sold in Vietnam.
Some travelers to Japan are willing to spend VND15 million ($659) to VND18 million ($791) on an electric cooker, Hung said, adding that people also buy other electronic products such as irons and smart toilet seats.
Many tend to buy branded clothes, cosmetics, shoes, food, as well as products uniquely famous in each destination.
Others believe that they must buy something during their trip to a foreign country, even though the objects will not necessarily be used after the journey.
This is why local tour operators often consider shopping as one of the main activities when designing overseas trips, an insider said.
But shopping does not seem to be a favorite activity of Vietnamese travelers when it comes to domestic tours, said Nguyen Thi Khanh, vice-president of the Ho Chi Minh City Travel Association.