China reports nearly 100 million of its people traveled last year to foreign countries, where they spent $100 billion. That’s a 17% increase — and another sign of opportunity for one of China’s most convenient and accessible tourism destinations: Vietnam.
Moreover, China’s rapidly growing middle class is just beginning to impact the world’s tourism industry. The average Chinese now spends $75 a year to travel abroad, only about one-fourth the average for Americans and well under 10% of the per capita foreign travel expense for Germans, Canadians and Australians.
In 2014, Vietnam was the destination for just 2% of China’s foreign travelers, but that was 35% more than in 2013. And the increase in traffic from China to Vietnam for investment purposes is far bigger — with Chinese foreign investment in Vietnam up six-fold last year to $2.3 billion.
Partly because of the coming inundation or tourist from China, some of those investors believe 2014 is the right time to commit to restaurants, hotels, entertainment services, and … casinos.
This may be the year Vietnam overcomes its historic reluctance to bring Las Vegas to provinces up and down the coast. Among the sites were Casino projects are underway or nearing approval are Lang Son and Quang Ninh Provinces on the China border; Danang and Quang Nam Provinces on the central coast; Phu Yen Province on the south central coast; Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand; and Vung Tau near Saigon.
All of them will be awaiting the influx of Chinese travelers who are expected to be the world’s dominant casino consumers by the start of the next decade.