Staycation a mainstay of HCMC hotel recovery

By Vien Thong   October 26, 2021 | 04:47 pm PT
Staycation a mainstay of HCMC hotel recovery
Receptionists at a hotel in HCMC. Photo courtesy of Nikko Saigon Hotel
HCMC residents are enjoying staycations, vacations within the city, assisting recovery of the city’s tourism industries from pandemic impacts.

The staycation trend has become discernible following the easing of social distancing restrictions after four months of staying cooped up at home.

Since early October, many HCMC residents have spent weekends at high-end hotels in the city’s downtown or ecotourism sites in the two rural districts of Can Gio and Cu Chi.

Xuan Dong, who’d just booked rooms for a group of five friends at the Dan Xay tourist site in Can Gio this weekend, said: "The receptionist told me that rooms at their floating houses are almost fully booked."

My Duc, a resident of Binh Thanh District, had tried to book a big room early this month at a five-story hotel in Can Gio for just of VND380,000 ($16.67) per night, but the receptionist said only smaller rooms were available.

Since Oct. 1, when hotels and other residential services were allowed to reopen but function at half their maximum capacity, hotels in Can Gio, Cu Chi and the downtown area have been receiving more customers.

In recent days, some five-star hotels in the city are offering attractive rates of VND1.1-1.5 million per room per night to lure customers. Many hotels are hoping to tap the staycation trend with discount rates and additional sweeteners like free room upgrade and early check-in.

Huynh Thi Mai Thy, country manager of online booking platform Traveloka Vietnam, said staycation has become a trend because it was still not easy to reach distant destinations within the country. "We expect the trend will continue, especially in big cities," she said.

Nguyen Trung Cong, director of hotel booking platform, said more hotels in HCMC have reopened since mid-October, and more people are enjoying their weekends in hotels in the city or neighboring provinces like Binh Duong and Dong Nai.

HCMC’s tourism recovery plan envisages the reopen of inter-provincial tourism in November, and international tourism next year. People will opt for more distant destinations starting next month, many travel agents predict.

According to the HCMC Statistics Office, the city recorded accommodation service revenues of just VND35 billion in September, down 20.5 percent against August, and down 93.2 percent against September 2020. Most people staying at hotels last month were medical workers and anti-Covid volunteers from other localities.

The municipal statistics office says HCMC earned accommodation service revenues of VND3.166 trillion, and tourism and travel revenues of VND2.490 trillion in the first nine months of this year, down 25.7 percent and 56.2 percent year-on-year, respectively.

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