Chinese visitor arrivals in central Vietnam have significantly recovered following a sharp slide more than one year ago when China illegally placed a giant oil rig in Vietnam’s waters in the East Sea.
Danang, Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan have welcomed more Chinese tourists this year. Compared to the other two provinces, Danang has attracted more Chinese visitors as more than 30 weekly flights from Chinese cities, Hong Kong and Macao bring around 4,500 tourists to the central coast city a week.
China is a major source of visitors for Danang’s tourism sector, said Tran Chi Cuong, deputy director of the Danang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. “Chinese arrivals in Danang have recovered fast since the incident in the East Sea last year. We expect more flights linking Danang and China at the end of this year.”
Local travel firms said Danang has many resorts offering services that match the Chinese’s needs and travel companies in the central coastal city have gained much experience in wooing tourists from China and arranging chartered flights to carry them to Danang.
Chinese tourists visit not only Danang but also neighboring places of interest like Quang Nam Province and Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Hue City.
As a new destination in central Vietnam for Chinese travelers, Khanh Hoa has lured the second largest number of Chinese visitors to the region after Danang. Chinese partners consider Khanh Hoa a potential venue for their guests.
Statistics of the Khanh Hoa Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism showed hotels in the province served more than 8,200 Chinese in June this year, over ten times higher than in June last year. In the first half of this year, the province attracted 44,583 Chinese travelers, up a staggering 135% compared to the same period last year.
Tu Quy Thanh, director of Lien Bang Travelink Company, said Chinese tourists love beaches, and that Danang and Khanh Hoa are attractive to them in terms of scenery and geographical location.
Thanh said the company has introduced other coastal destinations in Vietnam including Phu Quoc Island off mainland Kien Giang Province to Chinese partners but they have shown little interest as it takes longer time to travel there.
In Binh Thuan, Chinese tourists have helped many resorts of three to five-star rankings cushion the impact of the drastic fall in Russian arrivals, which results from the rouble dip against the U.S. dollar.
Le Minh Chinh, director of the Binh Thuan Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the number of Chinese tourists started to bounce back in April 2015 and most of them are guests of the chartered flights landing at Cam Ranh International Airport in Khanh Hoa Province.
The first seven months of this year saw 35,631 Chinese visiting Binh Thuan, accounting for 13.8% of total international arrivals in the province in which Mui Ne beaches are lined with a large number of resorts.