Yuan fall to slightly affect Vietnam tourism: insiders

15-Aug-2015 Intellasia | Tuoi Tre News | 6:00 AM Print This Post

While the cheaper Chinese currency will certainly make tour packages to Vietnam costlier for Chinese tourists, local travel agencies believe the impact of the weakened yuan will not be too serious.

Some Vietnamese tour organisers have closed new contracts with Chinese partners with the new yuan-US dollar exchange rate, as China cut the yuan rate against the US dollar for a second straight day on Thursday.

The People’s Bank of China trimmed the reference rate for the yuan by 1.11 percent to 6.4010 yuan for $1, from the previous day’s 6.3306, according to AFP.

The new forex rate means Chinese holidaymakers will have to spend more to travel to Vietnam, but the extra costs are inconsiderable, The Saigon Times Online reported, citing industry insiders.

“Our packages normally cost $200-$300, so [Chinese] customers will have to pay around a few dozen more yuan compared to the old prices,” Tu Quy Thanh, director of Travelink Co., told the economic newswire.

“The fluctuation is not big, and thus will not affect the market much.”

China is Vietnam’s biggest source of tourists. Vietnam received 1.9 million visitors from its northern neighbour in 2014, and nearly 950,800 in the first seven months of this year, according to official statistics.

Some local travel firms said their Chinese partners have asked to use the old yuan-US dollar exchange rate to sign new contracts, but such requests were turned down most of the time, according to The Saigon Times Online.

On the other hand, Vietnamese tourists will benefit from the cheap yuan when it comes to shopping or dining in China. But the prices of tour packages to China will remain almost the same, as they are paid in US dollars, industry insiders say.

Some Vietnamese travel firms, however, are concerned that Chinese low- and average-income earners will be more hesitant to spend their holidays abroad due to the yuan devaluation, as evidenced by the case of Russia.

Since late 2014, when Russia’s economy entered troubled times and the ruble collapsed against the US dollars, the number of Russian tourists to Vietnam has fallen sharply.

Russia used to be one of the top ten largest markets for Vietnamese tourism, with annual two-digit growth rates.

But only 190,400 Russian holidaymakers visited Vietnam in the year to July, a 12 percent decline from the same period last year, according to statistics.



Category: Economy, Vietnam

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