Vietnam becomes a magnet for high-spending tourists from this country

, Vietnam becomes a magnet for high-spending tourists from this country


Vietnam’s reopening has generated significant excitement among high-spending tourists from Cambodia due to its favorable geographic location, convenient transportation, and streamlined border checks, industry insiders reveal. Cambodia has emerged as a major tourism feeder market for Vietnam, contributing 198,000 arrivals in the first half of this year.

The Cambodian tourism market is currently experiencing the most rapid recovery in Vietnam, with an impressive 338% increase in the first six months compared to pre-pandemic levels. India closely follows with a growth rate of 236%, as reported by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Phan Huynh Phuong Hoang, the deputy general director of leading tour operator Vietravel, notes that previously, most Cambodian tourists visited Vietnam for medical treatment. However, in the post-pandemic era, an increasing number of affluent Cambodian tourists are now flocking to border provinces for luxurious weekend getaways at high-end resorts.

Hoang adds that Cambodian tourists typically spend $800-900 on tours to Hanoi and Ha Long in northern Vietnam, equivalent to the cost of a tour to South Korea. Vietravel has observed a 10% increase in Cambodian bookings for their tours compared to pre-pandemic levels.

, Vietnam becomes a magnet for high-spending tourists from this country, Vietnam becomes a magnet for high-spending tourists from this country

Cruise company Aqua Expeditions offers Mekong River journeys through Cambodia and Vietnam.
@Holger Leue & Lars Böhnke/Aqua Expeditions

Tran Quoc Thinh, the director of the Tourism Promotion Center in Tay Ninh Province, which shares a border with Cambodia, emphasizes the importance of the Moc Bai border gate as a key entry point for Cambodian tourists visiting Vietnam. In the first half of the year, Tay Ninh witnessed a 14% increase in visitors, reaching 3.5 million. The total tourism revenue amounted to VND1.4 trillion, reflecting a significant 71% year-on-year growth.

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Cambodian tourists visiting Vietnam can be classified into three categories. The first group consists of traditional visitors primarily from three adjacent provinces to Tay Ninh, often embarking on daily tours. The second group comprises luxury tourists from major cities such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, who visit Vietnam for medical purposes. The third group includes tourists seeking extended stays and indulging in high-end resorts located in Phu Quoc, Da Lat, and Vung Tau.

Thinh highlights the noticeable increase in high-class tourists from Cambodia, who frequently arrive in Tay Ninh and Ho Chi Minh City for medical treatments and subsequently engage in travel and shopping activities.

Tourism experts believe that Vietnam has vast potential to capitalize on high-spending Cambodian tourists. However, growth is hindered by limited availability of tourism products and direct air services connecting major cities in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Currently, there are limited daily flights from Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), while travel agencies primarily organize outbound tours from Vietnam to Cambodia with diverse itineraries. Inbound tours for Cambodian tourists visiting Vietnam remain restricted.

Hoang mentions that Vietravel is considering launching direct flights between major cities in Cambodia and popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. Additionally, they plan to develop luxury beach tours, facilitating transportation for tourists from Tay Ninh and HCMC to Phu Quoc and Vung Tau.

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