HANOI, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The number of Chinese visitors to Vietnam increased 34 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2014, but the number has declined sharply since May, a Vietnamese tourism official said on Wednesday.
"Although fewer Chinese tourists came to Vietnam in May and June than during the January-April period, Vietnam saw an increase of 34 percent year-on-year in the number of visitors from China in the first half of 2014," Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director General of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism told a press conference here on promoting the "Exciting Vietnam" campaign.
Among 19 direct flights from Chinese localities to Vietnam's tourist attractions, a total of 14 flights were canceled, and Vietnam is negotiating with Chinese side to resume normal activities of flights, he said.
Chinese tourists mainly travel to Vietnam either by air and by road. Average spending of a Chinese tourist in Vietnam will be 300 U.S. dollars per trip if he travels by road while the amount will be 700 U.S. dollars if he travels by air, said Cuong.
In mid-May, a series of riots hit foreign companies in Vietnam, leaving five Chinese nationals dead. Around 20 foreign factories were burned down and some 1,100 foreign companies were affected.
China's Taiwan then issued a "yellow" travel warning for Vietnam, and China's Hong Kong SAR issued a red warning against travel to Vietnam.
According to Vietnam's General Statistics Office (GSO), in May, a total of 194,000 Chinese visitors came to Vietnam, down 10.4 percent over the previous month. In June, the number of tourists from China to Vietnam stood at 136,700 people, down 29.5 percent from May.
In order to deal with the drop in number of Chinese visitors to Vietnam recently, Cuong said Vietnam will further "boost marketing activities to China," affirming that "Vietnam is a safe destination."
The Vietnamese official said at the press conference that Vietnam will join fairs in promoting Vietnam's tourism in China, coordinate with Chinese localities to exchange information and boost ties, as well as beef up the campaign in Northeast Asia markets including China, China's Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
In the first six months, the number of international tourists to Vietnam reached 4.28 million people, up 21 percent year-on- year. The number of domestic tourists was 23.4 million person- times, up seven percent year-on-year during the six-month period.
Vietnam pocketed 125 trillion Vietnamese dong (5.92 billion U.S. dollars) from tourism revenue, up 22 percent year-on-year, said a release at the press conference.