HANOI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The number of Chinese tourists entering Vietnam via its northern Mong Cai international border gate has gone up sharply in the past two weeks, according to local statistics on Tuesday.
In the past two weeks, each day, Mong Cai border gate in Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh Province has welcomed some 10,000 person-times of Chinese entries, compared to the monthly figure of some 5,000 person-times in the past, Tien Phong (Pioneer) online newspaper reported Tuesday.
Local travel agents attributed the sudden rise to South Korea's deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
Vietnam has been selected as an alternative tourist destination instead of South Korea for Chinese tourists.
Most Chinese tourists enter Vietnam via Mong Cai border gate will pay a visit to Quang Ninh's Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO natural heritage site, reported Tien Phong.
Amid sudden hike in Chinese tourist arrivals, domestic travel agents have grasped the opportunity to meet the rising demand.
More tourist ships are dispatched to the bay while restaurants and hotels are making better preparation.
In 2016, Mong Cai border gate alone welcomed around 500,000 visitors, with visa fee collection of roughly 12.5 million U.S. dollars.
In February 2017, the number of Chinese tourists to Vietnam reached 403,663 person-times, up 85 percent year-on-year, said the General Statistics Office.