Korean visitors shun local tours

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 10:05

South Korea's Jeju island. While South Korea is one of Viet Nam's biggest tourism markets, domestic travel agencies have not benefited from the arrival of South Korean tourists. — VNS File Photo
HCM CITY (Biz Hub)— Domestic tour operators have not benefited from the influx of South Korean tourists, as most stick to Korean tour companies.

South Korea has long been one of the largest markets for Viet Nam's tourism sector. Over 700,000 Koreans traveled to Viet Nam last year, according to the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism. That number topped 562,000 from January to September this year, up 7 per cent year-on-year.

However, it was not easy for local tourism companies to access the Korean market, said Lien Bang Travelink Co director Tu Quy Thanh, as most of those tourists could not speak English and only a few Vietnamese tour guides could speak Korean. His company used to work with Korean partners to bring tourists to Viet Nam, but these efforts failed.

The harsh competition from Koreans living in the country and providing their own tour services also caused a headache for enterprises like his, he added.

Vo Anh Tai, general director of Saigontourist, said his company had served only a small amount of Koreans in the past and only for special occasions, since international payment was risky.

An official at a tourism company in Ha Noi who declined to be named said that due to ineffective administrative management, many Korean tour operators sent Koreans to Viet Nam to work as tour guides even though such acts violated the Tourism Law. — VNS

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