While much of the focus of Vietnam’s tourism industry related to inbound international tourism, Vietnamese airlines and travel agencies are also looking at ways that can stimulate Vietnamese to travel internationally and take advantage of destinations that young Vietnamese are interested in.
One of the destinations that is benefitting from Vietnamese international outbound travel is Thailand, and there are an increasing number of airlines flights between Thailand and Vietnam that are seeking to cash in on a two-way boom in tourism.
Travel within ASEAN, of which both Thailand and Vietnam are members, is visa-free. Around one million Vietnamese visited Thailand in 2018, making Vietnam one of Thailand’s top 10 tourism markets.
Taking advantage of this two-way tourism grown, Vietjet Air announced plans to begin a direct flight between Ho Chi Minh City and Pattaya, one of Thailand’s busiest tourist destinations, beginning on December 23. Vietjet Air also has flights from Hanoi to Bangkok, HCMC to Bangkok and HCMC to Phuket flights.
In November, Vietnam Airlines launched daily Da Nang to Bangkok flights; and also HCMC to Phuket flights, that are flying three times each week. This is a major expansion for Vietnam Airlines which has previously only flown Hanoi to Bangkok and HCMC to Bangkok flights.
According to research from global payments company Mastercard, Vietnam is the second fastest growing outbound market in the Asia Pacific region, after Myanmar. Annual growth in Vietnam’s outbound travel market between 2016 and 2021 is projected at 9.5%, with 7.5 million Vietnamese expected to travel outside the country in 2021.