China-Vietnam border tourism booming during May Day holiday

(Xinhua) 10:58, May 06, 2024

NANNING, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Vuong Van Thanh, a tour guide from Vietnam, led 19 Vietnamese tourists across Beilunhe Bridge connecting the Vietnamese city of Mong Cai with China's Dongxing for a one-day tour of the border city in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Separated from Mong Cai only by a river, Dongxing facilitates close interactions between border residents of China and Vietnam. It is also a popular tourist destination for Vietnamese tourists looking to experience Chinese customs.

"Our guests are very interested in Chinese food and think it is very distinctive. This time, they have come for a special chicken soup," Vuong Van Thanh said.

According to data from Fliggy, one of China's leading travel platforms, outbound travel experienced a peak in bookings during the May Day holiday, with bookings for travel services seeing strong growth of nearly 100 percent on the basis of a rapid rebound last year. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries are among the popular destinations for outbound tourism from China.

One-day tours to border cities such as Dongxing and Pingxiang, including shopping in supermarkets, buying small household appliances and sampling delicious foods, have become popular among Vietnamese tourists in recent years.

The May Day holiday is a statutory holiday in both China and Vietnam, and it is also a peak season for cross-border tourism for people from the two countries.

The general border inspection station in Guangxi expects more than 140,000 inbound and outbound passengers to travel through Dongxing Port during this May Day holiday, and Youyiguan Port will see more than 45,000 inbound and outbound passengers.

"During the May Day holiday, more than 200 tour groups are expected to enter and exit the country in a single day. In order to cope with the peak passenger flow, we have promptly communicated with Vietnamese travel agencies and inspection departments to obtain the transit information of tour groups in advance, so as to reduce waiting time for passengers and provide a better travel experience for them," said Huang Yeqiang, who works for the Dongxing entry-exit border checkpoint.

"During the May Day holiday, our agency's more than 20 Vietnamese-speaking tour guides have all been booked, and they are simply too busy," said Ye Xiaozhou, deputy general manager of Pingxiang Nanfang International Travel Agency Co., Ltd., adding that cross-border tourism is recovering rapidly.

Self-driving tours are also a new trend in cross-border tourism between China and Vietnam.

During the holiday, Pingxiang Peace International Travel Service Co., Ltd. has organized a cross-border self-driving tour involving 13 vehicles and 29 people, that is scheduled to visit Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Halong Bay and other places in Vietnam.

"We hope to cooperate with more Vietnamese travel agencies and domestic car clubs, so that more Chinese self-driving tour enthusiasts can travel to Vietnam through Friendship Pass, enjoy exotic scenery, taste special delicacies, and experience folk customs," said Liang Yunyan, general manager of the travel agency.

Cross-border tourism has flourished with the deepening of tourism cooperation between China and Vietnam. The two sides have worked together to explore new forms of cross-border tourism and promote the construction of cross-border tourism cooperation zones.

The China-Vietnam Detian Waterfall cross-border tourism cooperation zone, which began trial operations on Sept. 15, 2023, in the border city of Chongzuo in Guangxi, has witnessed an increase in the number of tourists from both countries.

The zone has also rolled out a series of events to attract tourists during the May Day holiday, including talks and interactive activities.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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