Vietnam and India will be connected by direct flights for the first time when LCC Vietjet begins four-weekly services between Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi on April 5, hailing a boon for Indian travel to Vietnam.
With travelers from India currently having to travel through Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok to visit Vietnam, Yogesh Kumar, Asian Trails Vietnam Business Development Manager for India, said the new route is “the best gift for tourism in Vietnam “.
Pruthi Ranjan, Market Manager, Victoria Tour India, added: âThe lack of direct connectivity has been a big challenge for us. This means that many Indians who would have otherwise traveled to Vietnam are opting for other regional destinations like Thailand. The lack of direct flights also makes the cost of the overall tour package expensive.
“We expect 30-40% year-over-year growth once direct air connectivity is in place,” he added.
Likewise, Trinh Nguyen Hung Dzung, Chairman of TNK Travel Group, shared that despite Vietnam’s many requests among Indian customers, the lack of direct flights posed a major drawback. âIndian tourists have to go through Singapore or Bangkok to get to Vietnam, so they prefer to choose other destinations. If we have direct flights, we can (better compete with) other destinations in the region.
The new connection is expected to unlock the huge potential of the Indian market going out to Vietnam and its neighboring destinations, according to Karan Anand, relationship manager at Cox & Kings.
âThese flights will open up the possibility of moving large groups from India to Vietnam and beyond, namely Cambodia and Laos. This will open up new regions for India’s steadily growing overseas travel market, estimated at 23 million in 2017, âsaid Karan.
âAdventurers – those interested in history, culture and cuisine – should take advantage. In the incentive segment, small groups of 10 to 250 people will also be supported. Many Indians have visited many places in the East and this new flight connectivity will help to open up new markets and segments, âhe added.
In Vietnam, Fusion Resorts plans to take advantage of recent developments to target the Indian wedding market with its all-inclusive wellness offering.
Vietnam recently extended its electronic visa program to India, and bilateral trade between the two countries is growing, noted Akshay Moza, commercial director of Fusion Resorts.
Hue Nguyen, commercial marketing director of Diethelm Travel Vietnam, predicted that the new flights would help “foster cooperation between the two countries”, especially in the field of tourism.
The new connection could be the prelude to greater improvements in connectivity between India and Vietnam, with Vietjet expected to start flights to other Indian cities like Mumbai after assessing the success of the connection to New Delhi.
Vietnam Airlines also plans to open flights to India later this year. This includes the Bodh Gaya Buddhist pilgrimage site, which Nguyen says will be popular with Vietnamese Buddhist travelers.
- additional reporting by Marissa Carruthers