ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
HCMC takes steps to attract tourists
The HCM City tourism sector has made good preparations this year to attract international visitors but more new attractions are needed for them to succeed.
“We spent a lot of effort and time to carefully prepare for festivals and improve service quality and are very glad to see good results,” Trương Hiền Hòa, director of the city Tourism Promotion Centre, was quoted as saying to Thời báo Kinh tế Việt Nam (Việt Nam Economic Times).
Tourism activities have been accelerated this year with the holding of the Áo dài Festival and Southern Colour Festival.
According to the city tourism department, 1.38 million international visitors came to the city in the first quarter and spent VNĐ25.8 trillion (US$1.15 billion), 12 and 9 per cent higher than in the same period last year, respectively.
They came predominantly from South Korea, Japan and the US, but also included a lot of overseas Vietnamese, thanks to the Lunar New Year that fell in that period.
The number of visitors arriving by ship increased by 80 per cent to 9,000.
Last year the city welcomed 4.6 million foreign visitors, accounting for a full 50 per cent of the number coming to Việt Nam, who spent VNĐ94.6 trillion, or 30 per cent of national tourism revenues.
“The city’s share of tourism has decreased because tourism development always accompanies investment in new attractions,” Hòa added.
He said the city lacks such new attractions, mentioning several major delayed ones like a safari in Cu Chi District, the Vietnamese History and Culture Park in District 9 and the Bạch Đằng Culture Park in District 1.
However, the city has been launching some new services, including a boat tour on the Nhiêu Loc – Thị Nghè canal.
A successful tourism model needs time to become known and popular, Hòa said.
“We should make each local resident a tourism ambassador.”
In the first quarter 2.46 million foreign tourists arrived in Viet Nam, an increase of nearly 20 per cent year-on-year, while domestic visitors numbered 18.7 million.
The sector’s total revenues rose 21.2 per cent to VNĐ109 trillion.
The number of mainland Chinese visitors increased by 66 per cent, while it was 30 per cent for South Korea, 160 per cent for Hong Kong, 15 per cent for Taiwan, and 12 per cent for Japan.
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