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Vietnam’s tourism operators voice concern over possible poor sales during upcoming holidays

Vietnam’s tourism operators voice concern over possible poor sales during upcoming holidays

Monday, April 10, 2023, 22:13 GMT+7
Vietnam’s tourism operators voice concern over possible poor sales during upcoming holidays
Tourist arrivals to Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam are not forecast to rise sharply during the upcoming holidays. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

Hotel service providers in popular destinations of Vietnam such as Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc reported only 30-60 percent of their rooms have been booked for the upcoming holidays, much lower than the pre-pandemic levels.

The lackluster response was attributed to an economic downturn and lots of people flocking to their hometown to enjoy five days off from April 29 to May 3 to celebrate Hung Kings Commemoration Day, Reunification Day, and International Workers’ Day.

Also, airfares for domestic flights are too high, even higher than those of some international services, influencing people’s decisions on choosing domestic destinations, according to some tourism operators. 

Khanh Hoa: lower-than-expected hotel bookings

Though public workers are entitled to five days off for the holidays, the number of guests booking rooms in Nha Trang, a beach destination in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, was lower than expected.

The Alma Resort in Cam Lam District has seen around 60 percent of its rooms booked, even though the resort is offering a 30-percent discount on pre-paid bookings, said an Alma Resort representative.

Vo Quang Hoang, general manager of the Ariyana Hotel and chairman of the Khanh Hoa Hotel Association, said the hotel’s reservations for the holidays have yet to reach 50 percent.

If Khanh Hoa is to serve the same large number of visitors as in the pre-pandemic period in 2019, the hotel occupancy rate should not be so high, given that the province is home to up to 1,169 lodging facilities with over 55,000 rooms, Hoang said. 

South Korea is a major market for international tourists traveling to Khanh Hoa but visitors from this country mostly take short trips. Besides, only a modest number of Chinese visitors have returned after China resumed outbound tours for its citizens, he explained.

Therefore, domestic visitors are the main source of tourist arrivals in the province, he said.

Lodging service providers of the Khanh Hoa Hotel Association decided to keep their room rates unchanged while improving their service quality, he continued.

Tourism businesses are waiting for the arrival of more Chinese tourists as well as last-minute travelers.

However, there will be no hotels fully booked during the holidays. Even hotels and resorts in prime locations could see their occupancy reaching 70-80 percent, he forecast.

To woo more visitors during the holidays, Khanh Hoa is working to improve the quality of tours and tourist attractions, according to the provincial tourism authority.

The south-central province will launch multiple tourism promotion activities in April and May, including opening a new air route linking South Korea’s Daegu with Khanh Hoa’s Cam Ranh City, inviting and welcoming familiarization trip visitors from various parts of the country, and organizing a roadshow to promote tourism cooperation with China.

Da Nang: lots of discounts, low bookings

The number of reservations at some major coastal hotels in Da Nang City, central Vietnam for the upcoming holidays remains flat.

Ngan Nguyen, a Sheraton Grand Danang Resort representative, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the resort recorded its bookings for the holidays at around 60 percent, with only 25 percent of the bookings made by domestic visitors.

Hotels and resorts in Da Nang, central Vietnam, reported lower-than-expected bookings for the upcoming holidays. Photo: T.Luc / Tuoi Tre

Hotels and resorts in Da Nang, central Vietnam reported lower-than-expected bookings for the upcoming holidays. Photo: T.Luc / Tuoi Tre

The resort saw a sharp decline in the number of domestic guests compared to the same period in the past few years, due to high airfares on domestic routes, she said.

Besides, the number of international guests inched down due to flight reductions on some international routes, including those from India.

To cope with the gloomy prospect, the Sheraton Grand Danang Resort is offering a host of discounts and special deals to improve its booking levels.

According to Cao Tri Dung, chairman of the Da Nang Tourism Association, the central coastal city is expected to receive some 65-70 international flights per day during the holidays, equivalent to the peak season in 2019.

Also, the city is set to welcome a high number of domestic flights, at roughly 70-75 flights per day.

Similar to Nha Trang, Dung anticipated that there will have no hotels fully booked during the given period, adding that hotel room rates in the city have remained stable until now.

Phu Quoc: sharp declines in hotel bookings

Reservations at the Sunset Sanato Resort and Villas Phu Quoc for the holidays reached around 30 percent, a steep fall versus the same period in previous years, said Le Trung Thuc, public relations director at the resort.

Aside from factors linked to an economic downturn, high airfares for domestic flights to Phu Quoc also keep visitors away from this island city, Thuc said.

“We’re waiting for more last-minute guests. We also offer lots of special deals to guests with bookings for the holidays,” Thuc added.

Du To Tuan, director of Vietravel’s branch in Rach Gia City, Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam, said his office received bookings from some 200 tourists for tours to Phu Quoc, which is off the coast of Kien Giang Province, while 400 others opted for other destinations.

Tran Quoc Khanh, chairman of the Kien Giang Tourism Association, hoped that local carriers operating flights to and from Phu Quoc and relevant agencies would work out more reasonable airfares to woo more visitors to the island.

Up to now, hotel bookings in the island city have fluctuated between 30 and 45 percent, down significantly against the past few years, while soaring airfares discouraged visitors to embark on trips to the island, the chairman elaborated.

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