14:38 | 24/03/2017 Culture & Tourism
(VEN) - Russia is one of the seven leading foreign markets of Vietnamese travel companies. However, the long distance, inadequate information and the unattractive visa policy keep the number of Russian visitors at a lower than expected figure.
Russia has become a potential market of the Vietnamese tourism industry
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) says Vietnam welcomed some 400,000 Russian visitors in 2016 out of a total figure of 10 million foreign tourists. At a recent talk themed “Strengthening partnerships between Vietnamese and Russian localities”, a Quang Nam Province representative said the province annually attracted more than two million foreign visitors, but only 4,000 were Russians.
The tourism industry believes there is potential for growth in the number of Russian visitors to Vietnam, but points to difficult economic circumstances and a need to cut down spending as one of the factors keeping Russians home.
Another reason cited is lack of sufficient promotional activity introducing Russians to Vietnamese tourism offerings. And while there are direct flights to Ha Noi, there are none to preferred Russian tourism spots such as Ninh Thuan, Da Nang, Quang Nam, and Thua Thien Hue.
The Vietnamese visa policy also contributes to hampering the expansion of Russian tourism.
The provinces of Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan and the city of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province have attracted Russian tourists for years. But travel experts believe Vietnam needs to develop additional such destinations catering to Russian tastes.
Vietnam has set a target of one million Russian visitors by 2020. A VNAT representative said to reach the target, the tourism industry will focus on promotion, branding and development of unique tourist offerings in specific localities. In addition, it will strive to ensure service quality, improve the quality of human resources, especially those who can speak Russian, and protect visitors’ safety. The sector will also propose a more accommodating visa policy for Russian visitors, and work with the aviation industry, localities and travel companies to increase the number of Russian visitors.
The Chairwoman of Russia’s Federal Council, Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko, said at the talk on strengthening ties between Russian and Vietnamese localities that Vietnam has become a destination for many Russian tourists, and that Russian localities with their pristine nature and rich history can become attractive destinations for Vietnamese visitors. She expressed a desire for Vietnam-Russia cooperation in the field of tourism.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vuong Duy Bien said it is important to increase tourism exchanges between
the two countries, and Vietnam would like Russia to support and facilitate its tourism and culture promotion activities.