Tourism Arrivals increase in 2016
Despite a difficult year for the Khanh Hoa Tourism Association, Nha Trang has seen in increase in overall tourists visiting the city in 2016. In total, there was an 11.7% increase in visitors compared to 2015 with an estimated 8,300 billion vnd – up 20% on the previous year. Domestic arrivals are up by 11.7% while overall foreign visitors increased by 18%. Tran Son Hai, Vice Chairman of Khanh Hoa People’s Committee noted that it had been a tough start to the year for the authorities in managing tourism related issues. ” We have to admit our embarrassment in the early part of the year as figures were down dramatically, but towards the latter half of 2016, it picked up again and we are experiencing steady growth”, he said.
The province received 42 international cruise ships with 79,666 passengers coming ashore – a 31% year on year growth. Added to accommodation supply are a further 27 hotels and resorts with 3,426 rooms, raising the figures of the whole provinces to 638 hotels and resorts with 23,693 rooms, including 85 3-5 star hotels and resorts with 12,742 rooms (rising by 2,119 rooms over 2015).
Arrival Figures mask a bigger issue
Although arrival figures have increased, the numbers are very much skewed by the Chinese and Russian markets. Chinese visitors are up by an incredible 465%, while Russian tourists are up by 13%.
For other international visitors, the figures are bleak with decreases across the board compared to the previous year. Every European country has decreased dramatically (ranging from 10-40%), Australia by 25%, and The USA by 18%. Domestic tourism has increased by 8% which is important to the local economy. As it stands, this represents a worrying trend for the city in that it is becoming very reliant on two tourism markets for revenue.
Tourism in 2017
Cam Ranh Aiport is now taking bi-weekly direct flights from Hong Kong, and expects a large increase in Korean flights in the coming year. The 2nd terminal at the airport is under construction (scheduled for completion in 2018). It is expected that once finished, the airport will be able to accommodate larger aircraft for direct flights and increase the airport’s capacity significantly. This should bode well to attract more diverse tourism nationalities in the coming years. Similarly, AnaMarina is under construction with the first phase to launch in 2017. This will make the city attractive as an international sailing destination and further grow tourism numbers.
According to the provincial Tourism Development Steering Board, it is expecting further increases in overall numbers during 2017. To reach the targets, it has identified some key issues that need to be supported and improved including support to solve difficulties for businesses, step up construction and investment progress, develop better infrastructure and tourism projects, improve service quality and diversify tourist products. The Tourism Association’s budget has also been increased for destination marketing promotion.