Ho Chi Minh City is gradually raising the bar for the tourism industry in the post-pandemic period. The city aims to become an attractive tourist destination by offering best services and interesting products aimed to draw millions of visitors.
Focus on each district
According to statistics for the first seven months of 2022, Ho Chi Minh City has had an estimated 765,585 international visitors, an increase of 100 percent over the same period in 2021 and reaching 21.87 percent of the 2022 plan. Domestic tourists to the city are estimated at 13.3 million arrivals, an increase of 71.73 percent over the same period in 2021, reaching 66.54 percent of the plan in 2022. Total tourism revenue is estimated at VND 60,379 bln, up 57.82 percent over the same period in 2021, reaching 75.5 percent of the plan in 2022. A report from Agoda booking data platform shows summer tourism trends in 2022 were surprising when Ho Chi Minh City was among the top ten most favorite destinations in 2022. This result was analyzed by Agoda for the period May to August 2022.
Ho Chi Minh City has made strong efforts to build new products and renew old products of the tourism industry. If one mentioned Ho Chi Minh City before, visitors immediately thought of famous attractions such as the Independence Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office, or the War Remnants Museum. Now the strategy is for each district in the city to have its own typical tourism product. This way many new tourism products will be introduced to visitors. During the upcoming holidays two tourism products will be introduced to visitors with local cultural values and unique religious architectural works, namely, "Hoc Mon-Historical land" and "District 12-there are many new things".
Previously, districts 1, 5, Go Vap, and Tan Phu cooperated with travel businesses to offer many products. District 5 developed the product "Come to Big Market to watch Kylin and Dragon dance", and "Memories of Saigon big market". Go Vap district offered "Go Vap-hundred years of finding the old mark". Tan Phu district also renewed products such as Phu Tho Hoa tunnels, Tan Thoi communal house, and Phap Van pagoda.
Ms.Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, emphasized that the strategy of each district having at least one typical tourism product is the city's efforts in exploiting historical values and attractive destinations that have not yet been exploited for tourism. This is also the strategy of Ho Chi Minh City in making the city an attractive destination.
District 1 recently launched a product to find historical sites of the Saigon Rangers, which is a cultural and historical product that has been effectively exploited by businesses in recent years. This renewed product will bring visitors more unique highlights of tourism in the city. Similarly, Can Gio, a familiar destination for many tourists, is being renewed by travel businesses with experiences such as trekking and boating.
In recent years, Ho Chi Minh City has constantly promoted links with other localities in order to bring visitors new and unique tours. One of them is a tour by train or river bus linking the city station with Dong Nai province. After 45 minutes by train, visitors can visit Dong Nai Museum, Buu Long tourist area, Ong Pagoda, a famous temple of the Chinese community, and also have fun in the Son Tien tourist area. Then guests will be connected to explore destinations in Thu Duc City such as Buu Long Pagoda and the Ao Dai Museum. The journey will end with a river bus arriving at Bach Dang wharf in District 1. It is expected that this will be a joint tour attracting many tourists.
Products and services are increasingly being diversified by the tourism industry in Ho Chi Minh City, but mainly daytime products, while the development of tourism and nightlife products still seems to have a lot of space. The development of the night economy, which focuses on tourism development in the immediate future, has been talked about by many tourism businesses for many years. At the seminar "Economic breakthroughs from tourism", Mr. Nguyen Quoc Ky, Chairman of Vietravel Tourism Company, once affirmed that the spending needs of tourists at night account for about 70 percent of their tour spending. The potential is shown but after a few years things have not yet changed much.
Ho Chi Minh City certainly has the strength to develop the night economy. When talking about cuisines, Ho Chi Minh City is a place where the richness of culinary cultures of many regions and countries is gathered here. The city also has the advantage of waterways and if exploited well, it can develop daytime products with river tourism products but also be exploited for nighttime products and services.
Ho Chi Minh City has tourist products at night such as dining on a yacht on the Saigon River, Nguyen Hue and Bui Vien walking streets, the stunning A O Show, and the Ben Thanh night market. But these products are still lackluster and have not attracted tourists, or made tourists spend more, especially as there is no highlight that makes visitors experience as exciting as when traveling in many big cities in the world. Recently, the city has developed a number of nighttime products. As in Can Gio, visitors can experience the discovery of mangroves at night and a number of night activities in Districts 3 and 5. The Department of Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City is also offering "Mystical Saigon Night", but the effectiveness of this product is still to be seen.