Vietnam experiences a travel bloom: Thai media hinh anh 1Renowned Golden Bridge in Da Nang city. The central region is gaining popularity among Thai travellers, with such leading destinations as Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An. (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Vietnam’s non-smoke sector is enjoying a boom, with a substantial increase in the number of Thai visitors buoyed by growing low-cost flights, local media reported.

Vietnam reported foreign tourist arrivals of some 11.3 million in the first eight months of this year, with significant gains from several Asian source markets, Bangkok Post cited Vietnam’s National Administration of Tourism.

The standout market in terms of growth is Thai travellers, up 46.3 percent in the eight-month period. Meanwhile, the Chinese market dipped 0.9 percent.

An estimated 310,955 Thai people travelled to Vietnam during January-August, with a leap expected as airlines increase the frequency of flights and push new routes to the country.

Chotechuang Soorangura, associate managing director at NS Travel & Tours, said the growth of Thais travelling to Vietnam is the result of two factors: more flights and cheap prices for tourism facilities. Besides, the travel time is short while Vietnamese cuisine is not dissimilar to Thai food.

From Bangkok, travellers can choose from seven destinations via direct flight. The central region is gaining popularity, with such leading destinations as Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An.

Social networks mean travellers are sharing their stunning pictures of attractions online, tempting potential travellers to ask tour companies where the photos were taken so they can book a package themselves.

The Thai Travel Agents Association said Thai visitors booking tours to Vietnam are up 30 percent, particularly to Da Nang, Da Lat and Hanoi.

Chotechuang said the variety of prices is another strength leading to growth. Travellers preferring a more luxurious trip can spend 20,000 THB (over 650 USD) per package for an elegant stay. But there are plenty of budget options for around 10,000 THB.

President of Bangkok Airways Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth rated Vietnam as a rising star of the airline. This year, it commenced its newest route, Bangkok – Nha Trang, the third city in the country it serves.

In the last two years, various airlines are interested in entering Vietnam as they witnessed the expansion of infrastructure, new attractions and good service facilities at tourist destinations./.