HCMC needs to develop night economy products to retain international visitors

Ms. Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang, Deputy General Director of Vietravel Company, recommended the city have the policy to support travel companies; for instance, the city needs to take heeds of day and night tourism in addition to synchronous development of night economy products to retain international holiday-makers staying in Ho Chi Minh City longer.
HCMC needs to develop night economy products to retain international visitors  ảnh 1 Ms. Nguyen Thi le speaks at the conference (Photo: SGGP)

Ms. Phuong Hoang made the statement at a meeting with tourism businesses in the city chaired by Chairwoman of the People's Council of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thi Le. In addition to the plan to develop tourism products, many businesses also gave ideas to get preferential loans, reduce electricity bills and reduce value-added tax.

According to Ms. Dang Thi Thy Thanh, Deputy General Director of BenThanh Tourist, businesses fall into difficult situations in terms of cash flow and loans. The tourism industry’s profit margin is very small but some partners want to receive money soon after selling following tours, making it difficult for businesses to arrange cash flow; as a result, tourism businesses raised their concerns about difficulties in getting loans and loans' high interest rates. In addition, tourism companies have bumped into difficulties related to input costs, recruitment of personnel, and operating costs.

Accordingly, Ms. Dang Thi Thy Thanh proposed to have a specific mechanism for tourism businesses such as access to capital and extension of several supportive policies such as value-added tax reduction, and corporate income tax extension until the end of 2023. Moreover, besides the support package for employees, it is necessary to reduce land rent, income tax for businesses, and support human resource training.

Therefore, the transport sector works closely with the tourism industry to ensure that tours and shuttle routes are on schedule, helping to complete the sightseeing program. Additionally, responsible agencies should provide training for a team of tour guides who know many languages such as Thai, Japanese, and Korean to replace personnel who have quit their job in the tourism industry to work in other professions.

In the long term, Ms. Huynh Ngoc Van, director of the Ao Dai Museum, suggested that Ho Chi Minh City should have more activities to honor the city’s cultural heritage. Currently, Vietnam’s 15 UNESCO-recognized Intangible Cultural Heritages have not been effectively exploited despite their full potential. Thus, the city can hold ceremonies to honor and introduce these heritage sites regularly to visitors, so that they can understand the unique culture of Vietnam.

Highly appreciating the opinions of businesses, Ms. Nguyen Thi Le said that the City Council fully listened to business's comments at the conference promising all recommendations of business will be transferred to the municipal People's Committee as well as relevant departments which are responsible for answering and solving specific issues.

She also suggested that the People's Committee in Ho Chi Minh City, departments and agencies pay attention to a number of specific issues to perfect them for early announcement of the tourism development strategy of Ho Chi Minh City to 2030, with a vision to 2050.

Last but not least, related agencies and departments should promote investment in building a system of specific tourism products, and have plans for industry development and tourism promotion in addition to regional linkages to develop tourism product chains and training for high-quality human resources.

In the first nine months of 2022, the southern largest city's tourism industry welcomed more than 2.1 million international visitors and 21.6 million domestic tourists, with total revenue estimated at VND92,376 billion, an increase of 15.5 percent compared to the plan, contributing to creating a bright spot for the economy of Ho Chi Minh City.