Thursday,  Nov 15, 2018,13:08 (GMT+7) 0 0
Vietnam sees sluggish rise in Japanese tourist arrivals
By Dao Loan
Tuesday,  Jun 19, 2018,15:25 (GMT+7)

Vietnam sees sluggish rise in Japanese tourist arrivals

By Dao Loan

Japanese tourists in HCMC - PHOTO: DAO LOAN

HCMC – The number of tourists from Japan, despite being the third-largest source market for Vietnam’s tourism sector, has shown weak growth in recent years, lagging far behind arrivals from Vietnam’s two leading markets, China and Korea.

Data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism indicate that while Chinese and Korean tourist arrivals have surged in the past four years, Vietnam has seen the number of Japanese tourists barely rise.

The growth rate has slowed over the years. In 2014, over 647,000 Japanese visitors came to the country, up 7.3% year on year; then the tempo slowed down, rising by a mere 3.6% in 2015 to more than 671,000 arrivals; but the growth rate recovered somewhat, rising 10.3% in 2016 to over 740,000 tourists.

Vietnam, in 2017, welcomed 789,000 Japanese travelers, up 7.8%, and saw a slight increase of a mere 6.6% over the first five months of 2018 year-on-year, with over 344,000 Japanese tourists.

Meanwhile, arrivals from South Korea and China have seen much faster growth. In 2014, the number of tourists from Korea as Vietnam's second-largest source market was 200,000 higher than that of Japan, and the gap widened to over 1.6 million last year. The gap between Japanese visitors and those from the largest market, China, amounted to more than 3.2 million last year.

Some travel and hospitality firms suggested the tourism sector should issue policies to develop destinations, create new products and train human resources, especially those in the central region, which has attracted Japanese tourists. Travel firms noted that they found it hard to employ Japanese-speaking tour guides.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism confirmed that marketing programs are poised to kick off in Japan. The administration, scores of enterprises and local promotion agencies will, in September, organize road shows in four Japanese cities, Sapporo, Kanagawa, Fukuoka and Osaka, to introduce the country’s tourism services.

Earlier last year, representatives of the Japan Tourism Agency and Japan’s tourism promotion agency signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to promote tourism between the two countries to boost tourist arrivals.

One million Japanese tourists are expected to visit Vietnam and 500,000 Vietnamese arrivals are expected in Japan in 2018.

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