China announced the list of 20 countries that Chinese travel agents could organize group tours, and the bad news is that Vietnam is not included. Without the pre-pandemic largest outbound market, what should we do? To reach the target of 8 million foreign tourists, which alternative markets will we redirect?
Chinese tourists rarely come to Vietnam as individuals but in large groups. Now, China does not allow tour operators to organize tours to Vietnam, which means that the country can hardly welcome Chinese tourists. This will be a huge loss to Vietnam’s tourism industry.
Nguyen Van Thanh, former Vice President of Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa Tourism Association, commented: “It is very severe because no market can replace China, especially for Nha Trang and Khanh Hoa.” Before COVID-19, Chinese tourists accounted for over 70% of the province’s total foreign tourists. The number of domestic visitors in 2022 increased dramatically but still nothing much compared to the number of accommodations here. He said that this year, the province couldn’t expect that to repeat, because domestic tourists will not return here many times a year, especially when the international travel is back.
With the absence of Chinese tourists, instability in the European and Russian markets, we may once again not meet the set target of welcoming international visitors. In addition to expanding into other markets, travel businesses and destinations still hope the troubles are solved to welcome visitors from this largest market.
Facing new challenges, the Government and ministries need to dialogue with partners, find out the real problem, whether it can be solved, and find a way to solve it quickly. It can be that the visa policy is not open, the product is not attractive, scams still exist, and more.
Potential markets to replace China
Among markets, India is being expected. However, in fact, only some big names such as Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, or Hanoi can receive them with a small number of visitors. Moreover, the market is still quite complicated, while Vietnam hasn’t met their needs in terms of products and tourism infrastructure.
Nguyen Van Thanh also noted that Australia and the US were potential markets. In his opinion, they are large markets with high spending power, but far and difficult to reach. Vietnam needs time to welcome a large number of visitors from these two countries.
Not only China, before the pandemic, other markets in Northeast Asia, including South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, also sent a very huge number of visitors to Vietnam. Nevertheless, a recent survey of The Outbox Company shows that their levels of awareness about Vietnam is quite low. That’s why the Government, destinations and travel businesses in Vietnam need to soon find new ways to approach and attract them more.
To make faster and more accurate decisions, they will need market research data. The Outbox Company with diverse and useful solutions will help businesses and destinations know the insights of international visitors, thereby adjusting and developing their products/services and images.