Central Vietnam enjoys post-Covid tourism boom

By Hoang Phong   July 11, 2022 | 09:15 pm PT
Central Vietnam enjoys post-Covid tourism boom
People watch fireworks performance along the Han River in Da Nang, July 9, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Popular tourist hotspots in central Vietnam, including several UNESCO heritage sites, have seen a surge in tourist numbers after Vietnam lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions.

After Vietnam allowed quarantine-free entry from March 15 and resumed most of its pre-pandemic visa policies, Da Nang's tourism industry has seen hotel occupancy rates reach 70-75 percent on weekend.

The municipal tourism department said the number of domestic tourists arriving in the city in the first half of this year grew 39.5 percent year-on-year to 1.27 million, around 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The city also welcomed 57,800 foreigners, around 3.2 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Cao Tri Dung, chairman of the Da Nang Tourism Association, said the city’s international tourism market will see a slower recovery as its key feeder markets like China and South Korea are yet to fully reopen their tourism industries.

Dung said that in the second half of the year, there will be 90 weekly flights connecting Da Nang with Asia’s tourist hubs like South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.

Quang Binh, home to the world’s largest cave Son Doong, has also witnessed a quick tourism recovery, with the number of foreign tourists in January-June crossing 7,600, up 138 percent year-on-year. However, this only equaled 5 percent of pre-pandemic average arrivals.

The UNESCO heritage site of Hoi An welcomed 91,000 foreigners in the first half of this year, up six times year-on-year and 4 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The former imperial town of Hue also saw the number of tourists increase by 34 percent year-on-year to 771,000. However, the number of foreigners visiting the town was just 1 percent of pre-pandemic times.

Binh Dinh Province, home to the popular beach town of Quy Nhon, received 2.3 million tourists, up 92 percent year-on-year.

Several industry insiders have proposed that the government steps up tourism promotion campaigns and relax current visa policies to give the industry a big boost for the remaining months of the year.

Vietnam targets 5 million foreign arrivals this year, around 30 percent of 2019, when their numbers had reached record levels.

However, it has only received 602,000 foreigners so far this year.

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