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Questions raised over Vietnamese province's $590mn revenue from tourism in January-June

Questions raised over Vietnamese province's $590mn revenue from tourism in January-June

Friday, July 05, 2024, 11:01 GMT+7
Questions raised over Vietnamese province's $590mn revenue from tourism in January-June
Tourists appear enthusiastic about standup paddleboarding in Binh Dinh Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Lam Thien / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Binh Dinh Province, south-central Vietnam have announced that it received 5.6 million tourist visits and earned VND15,000 billion (US$590 million) in tourism revenue in January-June, raising eyebrows among critics.

In the face of widespread skepticism, the head of the provincial tourism department outlined the basis on which the province calculated and arrived at the published figures.

According to Tran Van Thanh, director of the Binh Dinh Department of Tourism, the province recorded 5.6 million tourist visits in the first six months of 2024, a 106-percent increase against the previous year.

Binh Dinh logged a tourism revenue of VND15,000 billion during the same period, up 96.9 percent year on year.

This is the first time the province has achieved such milestones in both tourist numbers and revenue compared to the same period in previous years.

Thanh pointed out important events that his province successfully hosted as reasons for the supposed dramatic increase.

Those events include Amazing Binh Dinh Fest, Aquabike Jetski World Championship, UIM F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Binh Dinh, and Teqball World Series. 

These activities drew a large number of domestic and international visitors to Binh Dinh, said Thanh.

Binh Dinh attracts both day visitors and overnight guests.

The number of overnight guests counted by hotels and other accommodation facilities will be reported to the provincial statistical office and the Department of Tourism. The latter then collects data and presents the final results.

The number of day visitors was calculated by counting overnight guests who visited the province's tourism sites, Thanh elaborated.

"For example, there are 400,000 overnight guests in the province who are likely to visit local tourist sites at least once," Thanh claimed.

"They would be added to the total number of day visitors to Binh Dinh.

"Day visitors also include local citizens who go sightseeing and return home within the day.

"These figures are real and can be counted correctly."

Because of the gorgeous beaches in Binh Dinh province, beach tourism is the most popular activity among visitors. Photo: Lam Thien / Tuoi Tre

Because of the gorgeous beaches in Binh Dinh Province, south-central Vietnam, beach tourism is the most popular activity among visitors to the province. Photo: Lam Thien / Tuoi Tre

When asked how much of the VND 15,000 billion could have been paid to the provincial coffers, Thanh explained that the figure is an estimate based on a project that calculates tourism's contribution to the province's economy. This project has been approved by the provincial administration.

The project worked out this figure by multiplying the average cost of an individual visit to Binh Dinh, including expenses for meals, housing, travel, and sightseeing, by the number of tourist visits per month.

"The majority of the VND15,000 billion has gone to the community rather than the provincial budget," Thanh admitted.

"Since tourists to Binh Dinh have diverse and extended travel experiences in the province with varying spending habits, it is impossible to calculate precisely how much money could be contributed to the local coffers."

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Lam Thien - Kim Thoa / Tuoi Tre News

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