Vietnam lures Asians, shopping dollars amid tourism boom

AFTER a record-setting 2010, Vietnam will step up efforts in key markets and attract more dollars from tourist shopping in order to meet its ambitious targets this year of 5.3 million foreign visitors and US$5.6 billion in revenue.

In 2010, the country recorded more than five million visitor arrivals, a growth of 34.8 per cent compared to 2009, far exceeding the initial target of between 4.2 and 4.5 million. Revenue also jumped by 37 per cent over 2009 to US$4.8 billion.

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) chairman Vu The Binh said the key source markets of China, Japan, South Korea, Europe and ASEAN would receive greater marketing attention this year.

“We have very high expectations of receiving two million Chinese visitors, one million Japanese, 700,000 South Koreans and 500,000 Thais this year,” he said. Europe is also expected to supply some 800,000 visitors.

VNAT also noted that foreign visitors currently spent only 20 per cent of their trip expenditure on shopping, a trend it hopes to change. In Thailand, more than half of tourist spending goes to shopping.

To increase shopping revenue, the country will mantain its Vietnam – Your Destination campaign, which tempts tourists with bargains.

By Luat Tran

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