Russian tourist arrivals save tourism sector from Covid-19

27-Feb-2020 Intellasia | The SaigonTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Russia as a major tourism source market for Vietnam has become a good berth for the local tourism industry owing to steady arrivals as Vietnam’s hospitality sector is being hit hard by the deadly coronavirus.

Despite numerous tour cancellations from customers amid the fast spreading disease, many tours to Vietnam for Russian visitors are still running.

International travel firm Pegas Touristik stated that it will bring some 184,000 Russian visitors to Vietnam, adding that it has maintained its target for tourist growth at 15 percent this year.

Hoang Thi Phong Thu, chairwoman of Pegas Misr Trave Vietnam, an arm of Pegas Touristik in Vietnam, remarked that Pegas had organised tours to the country for 18,540 visitors in January, up 27.3 percent year-on-year.

The firm estimates that it will bring some 19,000 Russian tourists to Vietnam in February. Bookings for March tours to the country have reached 10,000 and may hit 17,000.

The firm has brought tourists to Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan provinces on chartered flights. The visitors have been scheduled to go sightseeing in Danang, Khanh Hoa, Binh Thuan and HCM City.

“Although some customers have canceled their tours out of fear of the fast spreading coronavirus, our flights and tours are unchanged and the number of customers remains stable,” she told the Saigon Times on February 24.

Thu pointed out that last year, Pegas Touristik had brought 160,000 Russian visitors to Vietnam. This year, the figure is expected to rise by 15%.

“Pegas is struggling with the fallout from the coronavirus to ensure its 2020 target,” she said.

As such, the firm has launched several advertising programmes and promotional tours to Vietnam and is seeking partners for its plan to attract customers during this period of hardship.

According to statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the country welcomed over 646,500 Russian holidaymakers last year, up 6.6 percent from the previous year.

Statistics from the Vietnam Tourism Annual Report 2018 indicated that Russian tourists’ spending during their stays in Vietnam was high. Each Russian visitor spent an average of VND34 million when travelling in Vietnam, ranking Russia second for tourism spending in the country.

Many localities and local firms are mapping out plans to tap the Russian market.

Four days ago, the national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, noted in its press release that the carrier and Vinpearl would cooperate to open an air route from Vietnam to Russia on March 15.

This year, the two firms will launch eight air services connecting Vietnam’s Nha Trang City and Phu Quoc Island with four cities in Russia, including Moscow, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg.

The first air route linking Moscow and Nha Trang City will be put into operation with a frequency of two weekly flights.

Besides this, Vinpearl Travel Russia, a subsidiary of Vinpearl, is scheduled to inaugurate an office in Moscow on March 3 to introduce its full-package services, including flights, to Russian customers.

Vinpearl targets bringing over 50,000 Russian tourists on at least 168 flights to Vietnam in the first year of the establishment of the office in Russia.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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