Standing room only at Vietnam’s tourism destinations during long holiday

By Phong Vinh, Nguyen Quy    April 25, 2019 | 03:39 pm GMT+7

All of Vietnam’s popular tourist destinations are full up for the five-day holiday starting at the end of April.

The nation has been gripped by a palpable travel fever, whether it is the southern island of Phu Quoc or central destinations like Nha Trang and Da Nang, as people prepare to enjoy the anniversary of Reunification Day marking the end of the Vietnam War (April 30) and Labor Day (May 1).

Vacationers have learned from past experience to avoid cheap and mid-level facilities, which tend to raise prices when demand is high, but they are not having much luck with luxury hotels and resorts either.

Thanh Trung, who works in HCMC’s District 1, told VnExpress International that he and his wife had planned a trip to Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island, several months ago but finally failed to book hotel rooms. 

"Most high-end resorts and hotels on this beautiful island are in full during the holiday," he said. Instead, they are now going to the ancient capital of Hue in central Vietnam.

In the coastal town of Phan Thiet in the central province of Binh Thuan, many resorts and hotels have reportedly stopped accepting bookings. 

Mui Ne fishing village in Binh Thuan Province. Photo by VnExpress/Trung Pham

Mui Ne fishing village in Binh Thuan Province. Photo by VnExpress/Trung Pham

Sea-view room rates in the central province of Khanh Hoa, home to the famous beach town Nha Trang, ranges from VND600,000 ($26) to VND1.7 million ($73) per night during the upcoming holiday, 20-30 percent higher than usual.

A hostel targeting foreign guests on Tran Phu Street, the busiest area in the resort town, said it has no more rooms available due to a surge in number of online bookings in recent days.

Many top-end hotels in Da Nang are fully booked a week before the holiday. A few rooms are left but their rates have dramatically increased.

Budget hotels in the city still have rooms for around VND500,000 ($21.5) on May 1, 60 percent higher than the usual rate.

A spokesperson for Azerai La Residence resort in the popular tourist town of Hue claimed room prices remain unchanged starting at VND5.5 million ($236) for a night. But there are no rooms left on April 27, the first day of the holiday.

The Central Highlands resort town of Da Lat and the southern beach town of Vung Tau are also experiencing the holiday rush, prompting booking sites to urge travelers to make their minds up quickly before rooms run out.

A survey by VnExpress found most hotel rooms in Da Lat taken. Truong An, a manager at Nomad Home Dalat, said she stopped accepting homestay bookings two weeks ago.

Thanks to year-round cool weather, Da Lat has become one of the top holiday destinations in Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/hoangchi

Thanks to its year-round cool weather and beautiful landscape, Da Lat is one of the top holiday destinations in Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/hoangchi

Vietnam is in the midst of a tourism boom, with a record 15.5 million foreign visitors arriving in 2018, a 20 percent rise from the previous year.

Based on average growth rates, the country seems set to lead the Asia-Pacific region in attracting visitors in 2019-2023, according to the latest Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts report released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

Tourism is expected to contribute 10 percent to its GDP by 2020, when Vietnam hopes to get 20 million foreign visitors and earn $35 billion in tourism revenues.

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