Suối Tiên Theme Park in HCM City is packed with visitors this summer. VNS Photo Thu Hằng
Domestic tourism continues to lead the way, with HCM City remaining the top destination for local travel in 2022, according to a study, ‘Summer Travel Trends’, released by online digital travel platform Agoda.
It is followed by Đà Nẵng, Hà Nội, Vũng Tàu, Đà Lạt, Nha Trang, Phú Quốc, Hạ Long, Hội An, and Phan Thiết.
Beach destinations generally dominate the list as the country swelters through a heatwave.
The study was based on Agoda booking data collated for the May-August period.
HCM City reported 11 million domestic visitor arrivals in the first half of this year, up 43.1 per cent year-on-year, according to the city's Department of Tourism.
Tourism spending was worth an estimated US$2.15 billion, up 30 per cent and meeting 73.5 per cent of the full-year target.
It also received 478,000 foreign visitors, twice the number last year when the country was closed due to COVID.
Visitors’ top activities included sightseeing, mostly of historic sites and museums, and shopping, Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, director of the city Department of Tourism, said.
New tourism offerings helped attract visitors, she said.
To revive tourism post-COVID, her department has been co-ordinating with travel firms to develop intra-city tours and river-based activities.
The city is offering incentives to boost MICE tourism (meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition).
Tourism stimulus programmes will continue for the rest of the year.
More than 70 per cent of travel businesses have fully resumed operations and around 20 others have applied for a new licence.
The average occupancy rate at four- and five-star hotels in the city was 70 per cent during the summer holiday season.
Park Hyatt Saigon reported an 80-85 per cent rate while Sheraton Saigon reported 85-90 per cent.
Crowded tourist attractions
Popular entertainment sites and tourist attractions such as Suối Tiên Theme Park, Saigon Botanical Garden, Đầm Sen Cultural Park, Áo Dài Museum, and the Củ Chi [guerrilla warfare] Tunnels have seen a major influx of visitors.
Bùi Thị Tố Trinh, deputy general director of Suối Tiên Theme Park, said at least 8,000 visitors had been coming every day and around 10,000 during weekends.
Suối Tiên had invested in upgrades to infrastructure, planted more trees and launched a farm which offers hands-on experience in farming and high-tech planting technologies, she said.
Around 170,000 people, including 146,000 locals, visited the Củ Chi Tunnels.
Horse-cart riding is one of the favourite tours in Củ Chi District, HCM City. Photo baotintuc.vn
In recent days an average of 500 foreigners have been visiting during weekends.
Sài Gòn Zoo and Botanical Gardens reported a turnover of more than VNĐ75 billion (US$3.2 million) in the first half of the year and more than 1.23 million visitors.
During the summer holidays, families with children from the city and outside have flocked to the zoo at weekends.
South Korean travellers are very eager to return to Việt Nam, the Agoda study found.
Việt Nam also featured prominently as a summer getaway on the destination wish lists for people in Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese also have their eyes on the skies, with Thailand topping the list of international destinations ahead of Singapore, France, South Korea, and Indonesia.
“Worldwide, we are seeing international travel coming back this year as travel restrictions have eased, proving people have been looking forward to travelling internationally again for the past two years,” Omri Morgenshtern, CEO, Agoda, claimed.
“Travellers are making the most of the holidays and are keen to visit both domestic and international destinations in Asia.
“Reliving memories as well as going back to places they once enjoyed seems to be the theme this summer.” VNS