Lack of international tourists hurts HCMC hospitality industry

By Van Thanh   August 3, 2023 | 11:19 pm PT
Lack of international tourists hurts HCMC hospitality industry
A hotel room in downtown HCMC. Photo courtesy of Wink Hotel Saigon Centre
The hospitality market in Ho Chi Minh City remained gloomy in the first half of this year due to a slow recovery rate of international tourist arrivals, a report says.

The hotel occupancy rates in the southern metropolis during the January-June period stood at 64%, equivalent to over 92% of pre-pandemic levels, according to a report by real estate consultancy Savills Vietnam.

In the first half of this year, HCMC welcomed 18 million visitors, of which foreign arrivals accounted for 11% at 1.9 million.

The number of foreign visitors to HCMC recovered about 46% of pre-pandemic levels, lower than the national recovery rate of 66%.

In the second quarter, the occupancy rates reached 60%, down 8 percentage points compared to the first quarter while room rates reached VND1.9 million a night, down 2% from the previous quarter.

Troy Griffiths, deputy managing director of Savills Vietnam, said Vietnam has still lagged behind its regional peers in terms of international tourism recovery, adding the market is expected to completely recover in 2024.

He pointed out room rates in HCMC are similar to other cities in the region such as Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bangkok (Thailand) and Jakarta (Indonesia).

Hotels are currently relying on business guests since the city is a transit point between various provinces and cities.

Insiders expected that the return of Chinese tourists would be a bright spot for the city’s hotel market from now until this year.

According to the General Statistics Office, China was the second biggest feeder market of Vietnam's tourism with 738,000 arrivals so far this year.

As of June, HCMC has 15,662 hotel rooms from 110 projects.

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