Russian tourists to Vietnam sharply increase

Russian tourists to Vietnam sharply increaseRussia has provided Vietnam with its most foreign visitors for the second year running, with 250,000 arrivals recorded in 2013.

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia credits the 71% improvement on 2012—70% higher than the set target—to Vietnam’s natural beauty, pleasant beaches, friendly people, historic sites, and delicious culinary specialties.

Many travel companies now run special vegetarian tours catering to Muslim clients.

Vietnam introduced 15-day visa exemptions for Russian tourists in 2009. Authorities are considering the extending the exemption to 30 days in 2014.

Vietnam and Russia are linked by a number of direct flights, including those between Saint Petersburg and Nha Trang and between Moscow and Nha Trang. The Moscow–Phu Quoc route will open soon.

Vietnam is expecting to welcome 300,000 Russian tourists in 2014.