Travel companies in Ho Chi Minh City have urged the municipal authorities to early work out plans and products to welcome back Chinese tourists in an appropriate and safe manner.
At a conference held on Tuesday to review the performance of the city’s tourism in 2022 and discuss key missions for 2023, the city’s tourism was reported to recover quickly with its typical tourism products.
To date, up to 17 out of 22 districts and Thu Duc City have launched their own tourism products.
According to the municipal Department of Tourism, the city will this year continue to develop its typical tourism products and connect tours to create key product groups.
At the conference, Nguyen Ngoc Tan, general director of Saco Travel, proposed the city continue fostering the connectivity among districts to create typical products. The program in which every district offers at least a typical product should be boosted.
“The company expects the city will map out strategies to exploit foreign markets, specifically discussing ways to welcome Chinese travelers,” Tan said.
He also suggested enterprise supporting programs, such as reducing taxes and loan interest, should be maintained.
Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang, deputy general director of Vietravel, said Ho Chi Minh City welcomed a high number of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourists in 2022.
However, most of these visitors stayed in the city for one night. Therefore, the city should this year seek ways to extend their stay.
“To reach the target, the city should focus on three factors: synchronicity, promptness, and continuation to help enterprises introduce and promote their products to customers,” Hoang noted.
The Vietravel representative also proposed central agencies review visa policies and make them as friendly as those in other countries in the region.
As for Chinese tourists, Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, said Chinese visitors made up a large proportion of foreign tourists of the city and the country as a whole before the COVID-19 pandemic.
After two years of being affected by the pandemic, the city’s tourism sector will restructure the local and international markets and determine China as a key source market.
Nevertheless, the city will focus on middle- and high-end tourists, entrepreneurs, and investors in this market, mainly in Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen.
The city will introduce itself as a safe destination which is willing to welcome Chinese travelers.
“Chinese tourists prefer modern destinations with cultural products and shopping. The city and enterprises will prepare Chinese-speaking tour guides to serve Chinese customers in the coming time,” Hoa told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Ho Chi Minh City welcomed over 3.46 million international visitors in 2022, a 100-percent surge over 2021 and meeting 99 percent of the target.
In addition, it served more than 31 million domestic arrivals, soaring 234 percent year on year and exceeding the target by 24.9 percent.
The city earned VND131.1 trillion (US$5.6 billion) in tourism revenue, rocketing 196.4 percent year on year.
The city set a target to serve five million international tourists and 35 million domestic visitors this year, generating revenue of VND160 trillion ($6.8 billion), news site Vietnamplus reported.