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EU Experts Clear Result on Survey

On a survey of tourists returning to Vietnam, the management board of the conducting agency Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme released a statement to defend its seemingly questionable figures.

The survey was conducted on two separate time frames, March-April and July-August of this year. The subjects were 600 English-speaking local and international tourists visiting Vietnam. The target locations were five popular attractions in the country, namely Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Northern Province; Hue City; Da Nang City; Hoi An Town in Quang Ngai Central Province; and Sa Pa in Lao Cai Northern Province.


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Of the total number of respondents, 90% of the foreign visitors visited Vietnam for the first time. But an expert of the program cited that 6% of the statistics did not include non-English speaking tourists, namely the Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian and French. It also excluded tourists who did not visit the said destinations.

The expert further pointed out that 2% of the result represented third-time visitors and 3.2% returned to Vietnam four times. As of the time the survey was conducted, 11.2% of tourists came back to the country this year.

On the other hand, the General Department of Statistics released its own data, showing 34% of foreign visitors who returned to Vietnam last year. Of this, 20.1% are second-time returnees, while 13.8% visited the country again for the third time.

Implemented from 2011-2015, the survey is a special program funded by the EU to help the tourism sector of Vietnam achieve “responsible tourism” through specific regulations. Locally run by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, it is the largest technical assistance program to aid the tourism sector of the country at a whopping 11 million EUR cost.

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