Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Vietnamese carriers keen to fly to Thailand amid tourism boom

Vietnamese airlines are increasing the number of flights to Thailand to cash in on a two-way boom in tourism.

Thailand was Vietnam’s fastest growing tourist market in the first 11 months of this year, with arrivals increasing by a whopping 47.1 percent to 451,000, according to the General Statistics Office.

In comparison, the numbers from Vietnam’s two biggest markets, China and South Korea, grew by 15.3 percent and 22.4 percent.

Travel within ASEAN, of which both Thailand and Vietnam are members, is visa-free.

Around one million Vietnamese visited Thailand in 2018, taking Vietnam into the kingdom’s top 10 tourism markets, the Tourism Authority of Thailand reported.

Low-cost carrier Vietjet Air on Monday announced plans to begin a direct service between Ho Chi Minh City and Pattaya, which has the world’s largest red light district and been the busiest tourist destination in Southeast Asia for years. The daily service will begin on December 23.

Vietjet Air currently has HCMC-Bangkok, Hanoi-Bangkok and HCMC-Phuket flights. Phuket is one of Southeast Asia’s top beach destinations

Last month national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines launched Da Nang-Bangkok and HCMC-Phuket flights. The former is a daily service while the latter being a thrice-weekly service. Previously, the carrier had only run HCMC-Bangkok and Hanoi-Bangkok flights.

Da Nang, home to beautiful My Khe Beach and a neighbor of UNESCO heritage site Hoi An, received 7.6 million tourists last year, 2.87 million of them foreigners, a 23.3 percent increase year-on-year.

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