Saola storm strands 1,600 Vietnam Airlines passengers
International tourist arrivals in Vietnam last month dropped 7.9 percent year-on-year to 466,000, marking the third monthly decline in a row, according to the general Statistical Office.
In the year to date the nation has attracted over 3.83 million international visitors, up 10.8 percent from the same period last year. However, this growth mainly results from a large number of tourists coming in the early months of the year while the number of foreign tourists has steadily fallen in the past three months.
According to the office, there were around 278,000 international tourists coming to Vietnam for leisure travel, down 11.9 percent from a year ago.
Vietnam’s top ten source markets are China, South Korea, Japan, the US, Taiwan, Cambodia, Australia, Malaysia, France and Thailand. However, tourists from South Korea, Japan and Malaysia increased last month with respective growth of 17.2 percent, 12.7 percent and 14.5 percent while other markets fell.
There are no signs of the tourism sector picking up although the high travel season is over one month ahead. Like in previous years, travel firms are cautious when talking about their business prospects this year.
“Current numbers of tourists are insignificant and we still have to wait for positive changes in the near future,” said Nguyen Van Tran, general director of travel firm APEX.
* Around 1,600 passengers of Vietnam Airlines have been affected by Storm Saola as their flights to Taiwan have to be canceled, according to Vietnam Airlines.
The national air carrier will cancel six flights departing for and from Taipei on Wednesday and Thursday and is monitoring weather in Kaohsiung. By 12 a.m. on Tuesday, four flights connecting Hanoi, HCM City and Taipei were canceled.
Affected passengers will not be arranged to fly on regular and extra flights until on Thursday night.