Easy weather, transport, visas make Tet tourism success

By Tu Nguyen   February 19, 2024 | 07:31 pm PT
Easy weather, transport, visas make Tet tourism success
A tour guide speaks to foreign tourists at Mua Cave in Ninh Binh Province in northern Vietnam during the Lunar New Year holiday, February 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Duong
Good weather, improved transportation and flexible visa policies helped Vietnam's tourism industry cash in on high tourist numbers during the recent Tet holiday break, insiders say.

Data from the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism showed that 10.5 million domestic tourists traveled during the seven-day break between Feb. 8-14, a 16.6% increase year-on-year.

Many tourist destinations were also flooded with an influx of foreign visitors.

Average commercial room occupancy was estimated at 45-50% across the country, up slightly from 40-45% last year.

Ho Chi Minh City topped the nation in terms of Tet tourism revenues at VND6.55 trillion (US$267.3 million), followed by Hanoi and Da Nang.

In terms of visitor numbers, northern provinces such as Ninh Binh, Quang Ninh and Ha Giang and the north-central Thanh Hoa Province saw increases of 50-64%.

Hanoi, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa and Kien Giang provinces reported increases of 21-26%.

Tran Thi Bao Thu, director of Marketing and Communications at tour operator Vietluxtour, said that Tet revenues from the domestic segment, including domestic and inbound visitors, was three times higher than the outbound segment.

Pham Anh Vu, director of Communications of Vietnam Travel Company, said the company's domestic tourism segment accounted for 60 of travel revenues this Lunar New Year holiday season.

Vu said that in addition to the increased spring travel demand from domestic arrivals, the company also benefited from overseas Vietnamese visitors this Tet.

Tourism insiders said convenient transportation was one of the main boosters of the influx of visitors this holiday.

The provinces of Phan Thiet, Da Lat, and Khanh Hoa welcomed a larger number of tourists thanks to the completion of many expressways late last year.

In Da Lat, tourists didn't encounter congestion or overcrowding during the holiday.

Vu added favorable weather was another important factor in this year's success.

During the Lunar New Year holiday, the weather in southern provinces was sunny and beautiful, with daily temperatures rising to 37-38 degree Celsius. The north region was chilly but still sunny during the daytime, convenient for outdoor activities.

Bui Thanh Tu, marketing director of travel firm Best Price, said "thanks to the nice weather, it was easier for people to travel."

During Tet, his company received many requests for hotel reservations at destinations near big cities that could be easily accessible by car such as Da Lat and Ninh Binh.

According to the Tourism Authority, the number of international visitors to Vietnam increased over the same period thanks to the effects of flexible visa policies.

Phu Quoc received 52,000 foreign visitors, nearly six times the number last year, while Ninh Binh Province, home to UNESCO heritage site Trang An Landscape Complex, saw its numbers quadruple to 115,000.

Under the current immigration policy, Vietnam grants three-month tourist visas for citizens from all countries and territories.

The government also tripled the duration of stays in Vietnam to 45 days for citizens of 13 countries unilaterally exempted from visas.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh last week ordered the Ministry of Public Security to consider expanding visa exemptions for citizens from certain countries in accordance with bilateral cooperation activities.

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