Vietnam ’s tourism sector sees Russia as a potential market as an increasing number of Russian tourists are choosing Vietnam as a holiday destination.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the country welcomed over 100,000 arrivals from Russia in 2012. The number is expected to rise to 350,000 by 2015.

In June of this year alone, more than 17,000 Russian tourists arrived in Vietnam , raising the total number visiting the country to almost 154,000 in the first six months of 2013, a year-on-year increase of 60 percent.
Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of VNAT said the number of package tours bought by Russians in recent years has increased sharply.

He said Russian tourists tended to choose tours to resorts and beaches, where they enjoy participating in water sports such as water-skiing, jet skiing, sailing and scuba diving.

However, with the exception of popular beaches such as Nha Trang and Da Nang in central Vietnam and Phan Thiet and Phu Quoc in the south, he said that other famous destinations such as Ha Long, Sa Pa , Ninh Binh and Hue are failing to attract Russian tourists.

Experts said that it is necessary to create a link between tourist sites across the country in order to offer more choices to Russian holiday-makers.

They added that the country’s travel agencies should develop new tours to neighboring countries such Laos, Cambodia and Thailand to raise the attractiveness of their tourism deals.-VNA