Nha Trang’s increasing popularity among the South Korean tourism market has prompted major South Korean airlines to add more direct flights to the balmy beach town.
Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest carrier, launched a daily, direct route from Seoul to Nha Trang in central Khanh Hoa Province last week, with the first flight departing Incheon Airport, using the 159-seater A320 aircraft. The new route’s flight time will be approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes.
This will be the fight flight between South Korea and Vietnam that will be operated by Asiana Airlines, with other flights flying to Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc.
Additional new flights between South Korea and Vietnam will include Air Seoul, a budget airline, inaugurating daily direct flights from Seoul to Nha Trang.
Other South Korean airlines that are operating routes include T'way Air, which started four direct flights a week in May, between Daegu City and Nha Trang and of course Korean Air which operates multiple flights each week to Nha Trang.
Nha Trang has proven to be an emerging new market for South Korean travellers and follows the pattern of South Korean’s selecting destinations that are “close” and can be reached within 6 ~ 8 hours, inexpensive, and offer the chance to experience sports activities on beaches with glamorous scenery (always good for “Selfie photos”).
In 2017 its estimated that Nha Trang received 41,000 South Korean visitors and this number doubled to 83,000 people in 2018 and Khanh Hoa Tourism officials reported that 210,000 South Koreans visited Nha Trang in the first eleven months of this year, an increase of more than 250% above 2018’s figures.
While Nha Trang is seen as a great destination for South Korean visitors, many people working in Nha Trang’s tourism industry have said that South Korean’s are a great market for Nha Trang to focus on.
The reason for the focus can be summed up as: “Spend” – with the average South Korean visitor spending $740 during their trip, significantly higher than other markets; “Culture” – South Korean visitors are seen as more respectful of Vietnam’s culture and traditions than many other Asian markets; and finally “Clean” – South Korean visitors are seen as people who can respect Nha Trang’s efforts to keep the city and beach areas as clean as possible, and are seen as “environmentally” concious and interested in “green tourism.”
According to statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) that have been reported in Vietnamese-language media, 3.4 million South Korean’s visited Vietnam in 2018, a 44% increase above 2017 and the South Korean market accounted for 21% of all international visitors to Vietnam in 2018.