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China, Vietnam cross-border travel boom during Spring Festival

Updated: Feb 18, 2024 Xinhua Print
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Vu Thi Sen, a 20-year-old tourist from northern Vietnam, arrived at the Youyiguan border gate in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Monday with three of her friends to begin their trip in China.

"I have been to China many times and visited Nanning and Shanghai. I like to travel to China with my families or friends during my spare time," said Vu Thi Sen.

"This trip to China happens to fall on the Spring Festival holiday, so we can take this opportunity to experience the Chinese Lunar New Year and be part of the festivities," she added.

The Chinese people celebrate the eight-day Spring Festival holiday which started on Feb. 10, by reuniting with their family and friends. Many people opt to travel during this holiday, and cross-border tourism also booms.

The holiday will be the first travel peak in the Chinese Lunar New Year, and the tourism market will highlight a rapid growth in outbound travel, according to a report released by Ctrip, a leading travel platform in China.

Southeast Asian countries are the most popular for outbound travel destinations during this holiday, the report said.

However, as the number of Chinese and Vietnamese tourists traveling to both sides increase remarkably, Guangxi, which borders Vietnam, has been experiencing a significant surge in cross-border tourism before the Spring Festival.

"As the Spring Festival is approaching, we are expected to see a new round of peaks for the inbound and outbound passengers at the port," said Xiong Chuzhou, an official with the Youyiguan immigration inspection station, before the holiday.

During the holiday, Xiong said they expect 40,000 departures and arrivals at the border gate for cross-border tourism, and the immigration authorities have taken measures to ensure passport inspection is efficient.

The China-Vietnam Detian Waterfall cross-border tourism cooperation zone, which began its trial operation on Sept. 15, 2023 in the border city of Chongzuo in Guangxi, witnessed an increase in the number of tourists from China and Vietnam during the holiday.

"The cooperation zone has attracted many Vietnamese tourists since it started trial operation, according to the feedback from the questionnaire we sent to the tourists, they are very satisfied with the opening of the zone," said Yang Zongjun, assistant to the general manager of the company that operates the Detian Waterfall Scenic Area.

The scenic area is drawing a growing number of domestic and foreign tourists, with an average daily reception of nearly 9,000 in recent days, and the number is expected to rise even more during the holiday, Yang added.

Dongxing, another city on the China-Vietnam border in Guangxi, is also experiencing a boom in cross-border tourism during the holiday.

Official data from the Dongxing immigration inspection station shows that the Dongxing border checkpoint handled over 5.3 million inbound and outbound passenger trips in 2023, ranking the highest among China's border ports.

"Inbound and outbound tourists have been surging recently because of the Spring Festival, the number reaching a maximum of nearly 25,000 in a single day," said Li Min, deputy director of the inspection station.

On Dec. 27, 2023, Dongxing was linked to China's national railway network thanks to the opening of the Fangchenggang-Dongxing high-speed railway, which further connects Dongxing with other major cities in Guangxi, including the regional capital Nanning, within a three-hour trip.

"In 2023, the number of Vietnamese tourists that traveled via Dongxing Port to Dongxing exceeded 120,000, hitting a record high. With the opening of the new railway, along with the launch of a series of cultural and tourism activities during the Spring Festival, Dongxing will attract more Vietnamese tourists during the holiday," said Fan Guoqing, director of culture, radio, television, sports and tourism bureau of Dongxing.

More tourists from inland provinces of China who plan to travel to Vietnam will be attracted to Dongxing because of the new high-speed railway, Fan added.

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