HCMC is most favored destination for local travel: Survey

Domestic tourism continues to lead the way, with Ho Chi Minh City remaining the top destination for local travel in 2022, according to a study, ‘Summer Travel Trends’, released by online digital travel platform Agoda.
HCMC is most favored destination for local travel: Survey ảnh 1 Suoi Tien Theme Park in HCMC is packed with visitors this summer. (Photo: VNA)
It is followed by Da Nang, Hanoi, Vung Tau, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Ha Long, Hoi An, and Phan Thiet.
Beach destinations generally dominate the list as the country swelters through a heatwave.
The study was based on Agoda booking data collated for the May-August period.
HCMC reported 11 million domestic visitor arrivals in the first half of this year, up 43.15 percent year-on-year, according to the city's Department of Tourism.
Tourism spending was worth an estimated US$2.15 billion, up 30 percent and meeting 73.5 percent of the full-year target.
It also received 478,000 foreign visitors, twice the number last year when the country was closed due to Covid.
Visitors’ top activities included sightseeing, mostly of historic sites and museums, and shopping, said Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Director of the city’s Department of Tourism.
New tourism offerings helped attract visitors, she said.
To revive tourism post-Covid, the department has been coordinating with travel firms to develop intra-city tours and river-based activities.
The city is offering incentives to boost MICE tourism (meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition).
Tourism stimulus programs will continue for the rest of the year.
More than 70 percent of travel businesses have fully resumed operations and around 20 others have applied for a new licence.
The average occupancy rate at four- and five-star hotels in the city was 70 percent during the summer holiday season.
Park Hyatt Saigon reported an 80-85 percent rate while Sheraton Saigon reported 85-90 percent.
Crowded tourist attractions
Popular entertainment sites and tourist attractions such as Suoi Tien Theme Park, Saigon Botanical Garden, Dam Sen Cultural Park, Ao Dai Museum, and Cu Chi [guerrilla warfare] Tunnels have seen a major influx of visitors.
Bui Thi To Trinh, Deputy General Director of Suoi Tien Theme Park, said at least 8,000 visitors had been coming every day and around 10,000 during weekends.
Suoi Tien had invested in upgrades to infrastructure, planted more trees and launched a farm which offers hands-on experience in farming and high-tech planting technologies, she said.
Around 170,000 people, including 146,000 locals, visited the Cu Chi Tunnels.
In recent days an average of 500 foreigners have been visiting during weekends.
The Sai Gon Zoo and Botanical Gardens reported a turnover of more than VND 75 billion (US$3.2 million) in the first half of the year and more than 1.23 million visitors.
During the summer holidays, families with children from the city and outside have flocked to the zoo at weekends.
Foreign tourists
Korean travellers are very eager to return to Vietnam, the Agoda study found.
Vietnam also featured prominently as a summer getaway on the destination wish lists for people in Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese also have their eyes on the skies, with Thailand topping the list of international destinations ahead of Singapore, France, the Republic of Korea, and Indonesia.
“Worldwide, we are seeing international travel coming back this year as travel restrictions have eased, proving people have been looking forward to travelling internationally again for the past two years,” said Omri Morgenshtern, CEO of Agoda.
“Travellers are making the most of the holidays and are keen to visit both domestic and international destinations in Asia.
“Reliving memories as well as going back to places they once enjoyed seems to be the theme this summer.”

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