VietNamNet Bridge – Anh Duong Co. has proposed to increase the visa-free stay from 15 days to one month for Russian tourists to attract more tourists from this country, especially those wanting to have long vacations.
Most of stores in Ham Tien Ward in Phan Thiet City have signs written in the Russian language to serve the increasing number of Russian tourists.
Mikhail Simonov, general director of Anh Duong Co., a firm taking the lead in bringing Russian tourists to Vietnam, presented the proposal at a conference on developing tourism products in central coastal provinces held on Sunday within the framework of the Nha Trang Sea Festival 2013 in Khanh Hoa Province’s Nha Trang City.
According to Simonov, Russians consider Vietnam as an ideal destination for long vacations at year-round sunny and beautiful beaches. Anh Duong Co. currently takes Russian tourists from Siberia and Far East regions to Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, Phan Rang, Danang and Hoi An on package tours lasting 10-15 days.
The length of tours fits Vietnam’s visa-free policy, but there are more tourists wanting to have longer stays. Therefore, if the visa-free stay is extended, tourists will stay here longer.
With the current low season, Anh Duong Co. charters two flights taking tourists from Russia to Nha Trang everyday together with monthly flights to Danang. The number of flights to Nha Trang in the high season from October is estimated to be doubled.
The number of Russian tourists coming to Vietnam grew strongly last year with 174,000 tourists recorded, up over 71% from 2011. In this year’s first five months, despite a decline of arrivals from other markets, the number of Russian visitors still increased by 57.8% year-on-year to nearly 137,000 tourists.
A representative of Saigontourist Travel Service Company said at the conference that one of the measures which could stimulate the central region’s tourism development was to support airlines in operating direct flights to the region.
According to Saigontourist, maintaining regular international flights to central Vietnam is not easy as some airlines cannot ensure business efficiency. Therefore, the Government should lend air carriers a helping hand by covering part of the losses for them in the first phase of opening direct international flights.