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As domestic tourism recovers, foreigners still rare: experts

The four-day national holiday between September 1 and 4 witnessed a bustling travelling atmosphere throughout the country, which was a sign of a full recovery of the tourism sector in the country.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), some 3 million people hit the road over the holiday while the average room capacity reached 60-65 per cent, the highest since the pandemic broke out.

“Most of the provinces/localities have basically reached the same number of guests compared to that of the same period in past years, and some localities saw a three to four times increase in guest numbers,” admitted Nguyen Trung Khanh, General Director of the VNAT.

People visit Trang An Tourism Site in Ninh Binh Province. VNA/VNS Photo Duc Phuong

Tourism experts analysed that the national holiday was near the start of the academic year, so people tended to choose close destinations and travel in groups of family members or friends.

Southern people preferred destinations such as Vung Tau, Phan Thiet (Binh Thuan), Da Lat (Lam Dong), Phu Quoc, Nha Trang and Da Nang, while northern people like Ninh Binh, Pu Luong (Thanh Hoa), Sa Pa (Lao Cai), Mu Cang Chai, Tu Le (Yen Bai) and Ha Giang.

Vu The Binh, chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, noted that most localities hosted various festivals and art events to celebrate Independence Day, which added more reasons for visitors to come, such as a national motorbike race in Can Tho, an exhibition of orchids also in Can Tho and a hot air balloon festival in Thanh Hoa.

HCM City drew tourists with the “Welcome to HCM City” programme, which helped gather 920,000 visitors to the city, 130,000 of whom stayed overnight.

Dang Huong Giang, Director of Hanoi Tourism Department, said the city received over 422,000 visitors, with total income from tourism of VND1.3 trillion (US$55.5 million).

Director of Ninh Binh Tourism Department Bui Van Manh said the province hosted over 151,000 visitors in four days, an 83 per cent increase from the same period in 2019. Among them, 8,600 were foreign visitors and over 142,000 were Vietnamese.

Manh noted that, in general, tourism enterprises strictly followed the regulations of the tourism industry. The room capacity in the whole province was 75-85 per cent, among the highest in the country.

A hot air balloon festival in the southern province of An Giang during the national holiday. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Sang

Vu Huy Thuong, Deputy Director of Hai Phong Tourism Department, said tourists flocked mostly to Do Son and Cat Ba tourism sites with 74,500 visitors, most of whom were Vietnamese people.

In addition, visitors joined food tours, city tours and relic sites in Hai Phong such as Trang Trinh Nguyen Binh Khiem Relic Site (in Vinh Bao District); Mac Dynasty Commemoration Site (Kien Thuy); Bach Dang River Relic and Landscape Site (Thuy Nguyen); Hon Dau Resort, Dau Islet, Tuong Long Tower (Do Son), and especially the buffalo festival in Do Son.

Thuong said local hotel and restaurants in Cat Ba and Do Son offered good services without increases in prices.

“The security in the sites, bus station, railway station, and ship docks has been enhanced throughout the holiday,” Thuong said.

In Da Nang, the tourism hub of the central region, the total number of guests reached over 219,000 people in four days, a 38.1 per cent against the same occasion in 2019. Some sites seeing the most tourists included Sun World Ba Na Hills (50,000 people), and Asian Park (37,000 people).

Tay Nguyen and Gia Lai saw a sudden increase of guests of over 27,700 people, four times more than the same time in 2019.

Positive sign for inbound market

According to Khanh, the increased number of inbound guests is a positive sign for peak inbound season in October.

During the four-day holiday, Hanoi received 22,700 foreigners; HCM City, 32,484; Da Nang, 16,800. Most of the foreigners were from Europe, the US and Australia, who stayed some five nights. Their favourite products included river cruises, bay cruises and sea entertainment services.

Yet Tran Van Khoa, who owns Jack Tran Tours offering tours to rural areas in Hoi An, in the central province of Quang Nam, said he has received only a few foreigners recently.

Foreign tourists in Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung

“We guess by the end of the year, when the economics recovers from the pandemic effects, more foreigners will visit Vietnam,” he told Việt Nam News.

Binh said outbound tours have been sold more after the pandemic.

“Popular choices are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and Thailand, with reasonable prices and easy visa policy,” he said.

According to the Statistics General Department, 486,400 foreigners came to Vietnam in August, a 38 per cent increase against that of the previous month.

In the past eight months, 1.44 million foreigners came to Vietnam, a 97.3 per cent decrease against the same period in 2019.

In the past eight months, South Korean were the most frequent visitors to Vietnam with 369,800 people, then came the US with 139,400 people.

The total income from tourism in the first eight months of 2022 is estimated to reach some VND356.6 trillion, most of which was from domestic travelers. 

Source: Vietnam News


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