International travelers from Europe, Africa still on the rise
Despite the Covid-19 epidemic, the numbers of travelers from Europe and Africa increased in the first two months of the year.
The Genral Statistics Office (GSO) on February 29 reported that 3.2 million foreign travelers came to Vietnam in the first two months of the year, an increase of 4.8 percent over the same period last year.
Foreign travelers in HCM City in February
However, this is the mildest increase of the first two months in the last five years.
In previous years, January and February were the travel firms’ high season of receiving foreign travelers. But this year the numbers of travelers from China, Singapore and South Korea have dropped dramatically.
In February, only 1.24 million foreign travelers came to Vietnam, a sharp fall of 37.7 percent compared with January, and 21.8 percent compared with February 2019. The main markets supplying tourists to Vietnam from Asia, Australia, and America have seen sharp decreases.
|In February, only 1.24 million foreign travelers came to Vietnam, a sharp fall of 37.7 percent compared with January, and 21.8 percent compared with February 2019. The main markets supplying tourists to Vietnam from Asia, Australia, and America have seen sharp decreases.|
The good news for the tourism industry is that despite the coronavirus outbreak, the numbers of travelers from Europe and Africa are still on the rise.
It was estimated that 502,000 came to Vietnam in the first two months of the year, up by 8.8 percent compared with the same period last year. This included 172,700 Russian travelers, up by 17.7 percent.
The sharp increase was seen with the Thai market with 107,600 travelers to Vietnam. Meanwhile, 9,900 travelers were from Africa, up by 17 percent.
However, travel firms providing inbound tours said the situation may get worse in the months to come as coronavirus has spread to European countries. Italy has become a new hotbed of coronavirus in Europe with 888 infection cases reported by February 29.
Some Vietnam’s travel firms said they have unexpectedly received notices from ITB Berlin 2020 organizing board informing about the cancellation of the global tourism trade fair because of the coronavirus fears.
The epidemic has hit the tourism sector. Some travel firms have laid off workers. Others are hold ING out by attracting domestic travelers and organizing tours to unaffected areas, including the Central Highlands, Phu Yen and Quy Nhon.
Le Dang Doanh, a respected economist, also said attracting more domestic travelers and strengthening the exploitation of the Russian and West European markets are good solutions for the tourism sector. Domestic travelers will help travel firms maintain operations.
In the latest news, Chan May Port JSC has reported that 24 out of 25 cruise ships planning to dock at the port by the end of 2020 have canceled their trips. These include Quantum Of The Seas, the world’s fourth largest ship with capacity of 4,000 travelers and 1,800 sailors.
The number of Chinese travelers to Vietnam has dropped to zero because of the measures on traffic restrictions in the Covid-19 epidemic. The loss of South Korean travelers is also visible.
Vietnamese cities continued to be popular among local travelers in 2019, with local destinations taking up nine out of the top ten cities in 2019, according to Agoda.