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More Vietnamese visit Japan

Vietnamese tourist arrivals in Japan have grown since a short interruption that followed the powerful earthquake and tsunami in March.


Vietnamese tourists in Tokyo.

Local tour operators said Japan tours mainly attracted company groups in the past but now more and more individual and family customers were booking tours to visit Japan though tour prices were just a little bit lower than previously.

“In November we arranged four Japan tours, with two of them for individuals. Organizing two package tours for individual visitors a month is a good sign,” said Tranh Thanh Hanh, tour manager of Samurai Tour Co.

In the past, Hanh said, it was hard to organize a package tour for individual customers.

Japanese capital Tokyo is offering incentives for foreign tourists, such as providing free bullet train transport to other places for those staying in Tokyo for three days or lowering hotel room rates.

Therefore, Japan tours that also take in Tokyo are lower priced. Previously, a tour of six days and five nights was sold for around VND50 million per person but the current price is only VND42 million.

Saigontourist Holding Company has also seen an improvement in Japan tour bookings by Vietnamese tourists, particularly since October 2011. It will arrange two Japan tours during the Lunar New Year holiday in late January.

The rise in travel to Japan is also ascribable to a promotional program launched by Vietnam Airlines. The national flag carrier is offering discounts on return tickets for customers who depart from December 21 to March 31.

The airline’s HCMC-Tokyo ticket price is US$480 for passengers with a maximum stay of 14 days and US$650 for those with a maximum stay of one month. Fights from HCMC to Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya cost US$530 and US$650 respectively, with tax and services charges excluded.

SGT

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