The number of Chinese tourists to the coastal city of Nha Trang of the central province of Khanh Hoa in 2015 reached 180,000, an increase of 5.4 times compared to 2014 (33,000 people), reported the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
China now ranks second after Russia in the number of visitors to Nha Trang, compared with fifth place in 2014. There are about 10 flights carrying Chinese tourists to Khanh Hoa each day.
Ms. Phan Thanh Truc, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Khanh Hoa, said Nha Trang City attracts Chinese tourists thanks to its beautiful natural scenery and warm climate. Another advantage is non-stop flights from China to Khanh Hoa’s Cam Ranh Airport.
Mr. Luyen Manh Cuong, Director of the Information and Tourism Promotion Center of Khanh Hoa, said along with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s tourism promotion programs, the center has actively introduced Nha Trang tourism to Chinese tourists.
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Cuong said most of the Chinese tourists to Nha Trang are from mainland China so they love the sea air, seafood of Nha Trang. Moreover, the winter in China is cold while it is sunny almost the year round in Nha Trang.
Cuong said Chinese visitors usually stay for 4-5 days on average, often at 3-star hotels and above. Their spending is mainly for catering, diving, shopping services, and purchasing of sea products and handicrafts.
However, as the number of Chinese tourists began to rise suddenly, the local authorities had to struggle to provide services for them, particularly tour guides.
A manager of the Ponagar tower, a major tourist site in Nha Trang, said that the tower welcomes tens of groups of Chinese tourists each day but the relic management board does not have a single tour guide who can speak Chinese.
Ms. Phan Thanh Truc, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Khanh Hoa, said the province has a total of 10 tour guides speaking Chinese. Because of the shortage of guides, travel firms usually hire tour guides from Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh.
“We don’t know clearly about the need and spending of Chinese tourists yet. The tourism sector is conducting research on these issues,” Cuong said.
There are 19 businesses offering tours for Chinese tourists to Khanh Hoa, including four companies licensed to sell international tours and three travel firms based in Khanh Hoa. The remaining are agents for travel companies in HCM City, Hanoi and Da Nang.
Truc said Khanh Hoa tourism is diversifying. To develop sustainable tourism, the province does not focus on certain markets or certain kind of visitors, including Chinese visitors.