Vietnamese spent $6 billion on overseas tours last year
Vietnamese tourists in Thailand in a file photo. Photo: Diep Duc Minh Around six million Vietnamese traveled abroad for holiday last year and spent roughly US$6 billion, according to the Vietnam Tourism Association. That was significant up from $3.5 billion in 2012, the association said, as cited by local media. According to tour operators, favorite destinations included Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the US. Vietnam’s top tourist companies such as Vietravel and Saigontourist said overseas tours have grown faster than domestic tours. Vietnam itself is home to many famous destinations, including Ha Long Bay, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and Hoi An ancient town, all of which are UNESCO heritage sites. But poor service quality, high prices and lack of creativity are among the main reasons that local tourists prefer going abroad, experts say. Meanwhile, many foreign countries such as Japan and South Korea have simplified visa procedures for Vietnamese tourists and offered very competitive tour prices in recent years, they say.