Aug 15, 2013

Tourism boosting from the route Seoul - Danang

The Danang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism says flights serving South Korea’s Seoul and Danang are boosting tourist arrivals to the city.

The department deputy director, Tran Chi Cuong, said the impressive growth of Korean tourist arrvials is due to an increase in flights between the central Vietnam city and Seoul.
Two South Korean carriers, Asiana Airlines and Korean Air, fly daily sevices from Seoul, while flag-carrier Vietnam Airlines has also been serving the same route three flights weekly since 1 July.
“With these services, the number of South Korean tourists to Danang will continue to soar,” he said.
Last year, the city attracted 30,493 visits up from just 6,620 trips in 2010. In the first half of this year, 25,511 visits were recorded from South Korea to the coastal city.
Besides Danang, Hue and Quang Nam are also top destinations for South Korean travellers.
The number of South Korean visits to Hue jumped from 4,600 in 2010 to as high as 24,000 last year. Similarly, only 3,838 South Korean holidaymakers visited Hoi An in 2010, but that has doubled to 6,868 in two years.
However, South Korean travel agencies tend to organise Vietnamese tours without enlisting the help of local travel firms according to Hue’s tourism department chief, Truong Thanh Minh.
“They are in charge of the entire process, from planning to assigning tour guides and services,” he explained.
With the number of Korean-speaking tour guides in short supply, South Korean tour operators usually hire Vietnamese-speaking guides only to avoid penalties by the tourism inspectorate, while Korean nationals guide the tour. It irks professional guides who believe they should be explaining the details and cultural aspects of their country that might not be fully understood by foreign tour leaders.
Thailand faces similar problems where there is a shortage of specialised Thai guides. In both countries, the law stipulates that national guides must lead the tour and explain details, while the foreign tour leader should only act as an interpreter.
Critics claim tour operators ignore these conditions mainly to save costs by having their tour leaders also act as guides.

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