While international tourist arrival numbers fell for the 11th consecutive month in April, tourist hotspots across Vietnam reaped a bonanza during the national holiday ending on Sunday, which gave local salaried workers almost a week to spare.
The website of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is today full of positive statistics any attractions would die for after the holiday, which kicked off on April 28 and was highlighted by the country’s 40th anniversary of reunification on April 30, wrapped up yesterday.
More than 100,000 visitors attended the Hue Traditional Craft Festival; Sa Pa welcomed more than 60,000 tourists; and An Giang Province received more than 50,000 holidaymakers per day.
These are a few among the stories recently published on the website, which proves the country’s tourist windfall from the domestic market.
People queue to buy bus tickets to travel at the Mien Tay Bus Station in Ho Chi Minh City on April 28, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre
More than 120,000 people chose to visit the resort town of Da Lat, the capital city of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, for the holiday, a 13 percent increase compared to last year.
In the north-central province of Thanh Hoa, the number of tourists recorded during the holiday was more than 80,000.
Many hotels and lodging facilities that had suffered poor occupancy due to the falling number of international holidaymakers were fully booked during the latest holiday, as locals rushed to beaches across the country to stay away from the baking heat.
Tourists board a passenger boat to Ly Son Island off Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The central city of Da Nang welcomed around 450,000 visitors in the period, a 13.9 percent increase from the holiday last year, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
More than 92,000 holidaymakers meanwhile filled hotels and beaches in Nha Trang, the resort city of the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, whereas all hotels on Phu Quoc Island off southern Vietnam were fully booked.
The VNAT reported on April 27 that Vietnam’s international arrival numbers dropped 7.4 percent year-on-year to 690,440 tourists.
While Vietnamese travel firms struggle to lure international visitors, they have posted healthy growth from the domestic market, according to The Saigon Times Online, which cited the VNAT.
In 2009, when Vietnam’s international arrival numbers entered a downward trend that is still running today, the domestic market reported a 22 percent growth rate with 25 million tourists, according to VNAT data.
Last year 38.5 million local tourists took domestic packages and the market keeps growing against the sharp fall of its international counterpart.
Tourists are pictured on a beach in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, located in southern Vietnam, on April 28, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese tourists are also willing to pay for overseas trips, and have thus become favorite customers of tour organizers in many regional countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia.
In 2014 more than 285,000 Vietnamese tourists spent their holiday in Malaysia, whereas 424,000 and 500,000 chose Singapore and Thailand, respectively, The Saigon Times Online said, citing different travel agencies.
Vietnam is now the largest source of international tourists for Cambodia, with more than 900,000 vacationers visiting that country last year.