Vietnamese tourists being wooed back to Thailand

Bangkok/Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnamese tourists’ confidence in Thailand as a travel destination has grown steadily since the end of Bangkok’s anti-government protests (as of March 3) and the caretaker government’s lifting of the emergency decree in Bangkok and neighbouring districts (as of March 19).

With Bangkok’s main intersections cleared of protestors and the shopping districts now welcoming large numbers of visitors, everything is back to normal on the streets of Thailand’s capital. With this being widely reported in the media, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s  Ho Chi Minh City Office has reported an increasing number of Vietnamese tourists heading to the kingdom.

This growth is also due to extensive and vigorously marketed promotion activities that were quickly launched by the TAT HCMC Office, in cooperation with Vietnam-based tour operators and airlines, soon after Thailand’s political uncertainty began.

Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, TAT Governor said, “As it stands, the situation in Bangkok is getting better and better, and tourists from our regional markets are coming back with full confidence that Thailand is a safe and value-for-money destination. Some major tour operators in Vietnam; such as, Vietravel are now starting to organise daily tours for Vietnamese tourists on the ever-popular Bangkok-Pattaya route.”

As part of its promotional campaign for Vietnamese tourists, Vietravel is offering free SIM cards to the first 500 Vietnamese travellers who make bookings on Thai-bound tour packages. The agent is also joining forces with Qatar Airways to offer a discount of 1 million VND (1,527 Baht) on an inclusive five-day tour package to Thailand.

Another major Vietnam-based tour operator, Saigontourist, is offering promotional tour packages to Thailand at the price of 6.999 million VND (10,715 Baht), which is about 3 million VND (4,593 Baht) cheaper than the usual price.

In addition, Phu Bao Tours has asked for support from the TAT HCMC Office to provide special giveaway items for a 1,000-person incentive group from the US-based World System Builder to visit the kingdom on a Bangkok-Phuket tour on 27 April – 7 May.

These, and other positive developments in the Vietnamese tourism market to Thailand, have come about thanks to the many recent positive promotional activities by the TAT HCMC Office in co-operation with Vietnam-based tour operators and international airlines over the last two months.

Marketing activities include Thailand’s participation in the Vietnam International Travel Mart from 3-6 April; the HCMC Tourist Festival on 27-30 March; the organisation of an Amazing Thailand Road Show in Vietnam’s Nha Trang city, and the promotion of the Songkran Splendours 2014 celebrations through both online and offline channels.

The TAT HCMC Office also joined forces with Air Asia to promote special airfares to Bangkok with prices starting at a mere 4 USD (130 Baht). The TAT HCMC Office also organised a media familiarisation trip for members of the Vietnamese media to attend the “10th World Wai Khru: Muay Thai Ceremony” in Ayutthaya on 17 March, 2014. During the trip, journalists and writers got the chance to visit popular destinations in Bangkok, Pattaya, and Ayutthaya.

In addition, several airlines have launched special promotions to encourage Vietnamese tourists to visit Thailand. Air Asia offered a special airfare from Vietnam-Bangkok fare for 190,000 VND (290 Baht) with pre-bookings available from 31 March to 6 April, 2014. These tickets can be used from 1 April – 30 September, 2014.

Vietjet Air has also run a promotion with its special airfare starting at 2 USD (65 Baht) from Vietnam to Bangkok, with pre-booking available from 4-13 April. Those who bought tickets can fly anytime between from 23 May – 31 October.