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Local tourism learns to attract Russians

About 100 participants from local travel companies, hotels, resorts and tourism agencies joined a seminar in HCMC last Friday to learn about ways to develop the Russian market, an emerging market for the local inbound tourism sector.

  05/11/2008 09:45

Speaker Sorokin Andrey, manager of the China and Vietnam market department of Capital Tour, one of the three Russian travel companies regularly sending travelers to Vietnam, said Russia’s outbound market was emerging with over 30 million people traveling to foreign countries a year.

“Most Russians who have traveled to Vietnam say they were pleased with the tours there. I think Vietnam’s tourism sector could receive around 150,000 Russian visitors by 2015 compared to some thousands now,” he said at the seminar organized by PATA Vietnam.

Most Russians have chosen destinations such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt. However, the travelers are changing their destinations to countries in Southeast Asia.

“The financial crisis has made people cancel outbound trips but it has not badly impacted Vietnam’s tourism because most travelers choosing long-haul destinations like Vietnam are high-income people,” Andrey said.

However, he noted that in the current economic situation the local tour operators need flexibility in arranging tours. “Local companies are promoting luxury tours to Russia but in this situation they need to offer other kinds of tours with cheaper prices that suit their pockets.”

He noted that few of the visitors are fluent in English so the local hotels and resorts need to provide guide-books, menus and other related materials in Russian.

Regarding promotion activities and air service, he said that the local travel agencies needed to speed up promotion activities in the media and on the Internet and operate more flights to Russia.

“Around 70% of Russian visitors live in big cities and are using the Internet at home and in the offices. So, taking promotion activities on the Internet is a good way,” Andrey said.

He said a difficult thing in calling more Russian travelers to Vietnam is the lack of flights between the two countries.

(Source: SGTimes, Vnn)

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