The Hanoitimes - According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnamese Tourism - Culture Festival will be held in South Korea as part of activities celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam – South Korea diplomatic relations (December 22).
During the festival, a tourism promotion programme will introduce tourism potential and policies of Vietnam as well as new tourism products of the country. The event is expected to draw 100 delegates from South Korea travel firms and media agencies.
Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam.
According to the Korean Tourism Organisation in Vietnam, 2017 is a successful year of South Korea tourism sector in Vietnam. As of November 19, over 302,200 Vietnamese tourists visited South Korea, a rise of 29.9 percent year on year, making Vietnam the eighth largest market of South Korea.
Vietnam is also a popular destination for South Korea travelers, welcoming over 1.54 million arrivals in 2016, up 38.7 percent compared to 2015. At the end of November this year, more than 2.15 million South Korea tourists came to Vietnam, a surge of 55.3 percent year on year. South Korea ranks second only after China in the number of visitors to the Southeast Asian country.
Vice Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu said that over the past years, tourism cooperation between Vietnam and South Korea has been growing. He expressed his hope that in the coming time, businesses of both sides will foster connectivity, contributing to lifting bilateral tourism ties to a new height, thus boosting socio-economic growth in both countries.
In addition, South Korea will loosen visa requirements and issue e-visas for Vietnamese visitors as the number of Vietnamese tourists to the Northeast Asian nation is growing significantly.
According to Le Thi Thu Trang, marketing director of the Korea Tourism Organization in Vietnam, there have been 303,000 Vietnamese visiting South Korea so far this year and the number may reach 330,000 at the end of this year, up by 90,000 over last year.
South Korea will grant e-visas for buyers of incentive tours, allow more companies to carry out e-visa procedures and offer tourists a visa-free stay in Seoul for five days if they travel to Jeju island previously.
Accordingly, Vietnam ranks sixth among South Korea’s biggest source markets. New policies are expected to be adopted next year to further expand the market. In July, Korea accredited 35 travel companies in Vietnam, meaning Vietnamese tourists visiting Korea via these firms could get visas faster.
Normally it takes eight days to apply for a visa, but guests of the 35 accredited firms need three days for incentive tours and five days for normal tours. Last year, more than 240,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Korea, a year-on-year increase of 58 percent.