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More tourists switch from Thailand to Vietnam: CBRE

The political unrest in Thailand is one major reason causing tourists to change their destination to Vietnam, said Asia Pacific experts of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Thai lan

Speaking at the conference on hotel investment and management in Vietnam with lessons from Asian countries, held on Monday in HCMC, CBRE specialists said the number of inbound tourists to Vietnam has increased in the last three years.

The rise was 19.1% in 2011 and 13.9% in 2012. Last year, the growth rate slowed to 11% and then rose strongly to 26% in the first five months of this year.
According to CBRE, the occupancy rate at hotels in Vietnam has also surged in the last three years, and the rate in HCMC and Hanoi have risen close to those in big cities in the region such as Jakarta in Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

However, the growth of hotel rooms at the two cities of Vietnam in the next three years is estimated at around 8%, much lower than the expected growth rates of hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, at 20% and 40% respectively.

Robert McIntosh, executive director of CBRE Hotels for the Asia Pacific region, said Vietnam’s hotel industry has strong potential to develop in the long term. The quality of hotel and infrastructure has been improved significantly in recent years, which is the main reason helping the country to have a stable and sustainable tourism market.

Travel firms reopen tours to Thailand

Many local travel firms have reopened tours to Thailand with soft prices and promotions after suspending such tours last month due to concerns over the political unrest in the neighboring country.

Vietravel offers five-day tours to Thailand every day this month and assure to provide the same service quality for tourists at soft prices starting from VND5.7 million.

Nguyen Minh Man, deputy head of Vietravel’s marketing and communication department, said the promotion is to rekindle demand for tours to Thailand in the summer holiday. According to information updated from Thailand of Vietravel, all airports in the country, including those in major localities of Bangkok, Phuket, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai, have operated normally with flights to and from the country operational as scheduled.
Fiditour has offered tours to Thailand at the cost of VND6 million, for departure from June 10, bringing tourists to 17 destinations in Thailand.

The company rekindle also offers five-day tours with prices starting at VND6 million and many other tour operators are calling for tourists to Thailand, saying their tours are sponsored by  the Tourism Authority of Thailand  (TAT) at prices under VND6 million.

Speaking to the Daily, representative of TAT in HCMC said its promotion will only last for a short time to boost tourism demand to Thailand and that it does not support Vietnam firms to sell cheap Thai tours.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism late last month required tour operators in Vietnam not to organize tour to dangerous places in Thailand where crisis and demonstrations were taking place.
Some travel firms, as a result, temporarily shut down their tours to Thailand.

Early this month, Thai military has removed curfew from cities which are major tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket and Samui Island, saying that those places are safe and no demonstrations had happened there as a move to attract tourist back to the country.

Source: SGT  

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