The global economic crisis has failed to dampen the travelling spirit of Vietnamese tourists who are flocking in greater numbers to resort towns in the country, local reports say.
Until a few years ago, residents in big cities were likely to visit other places in the country once a year, but a survey carried out last week by HCM City-based FTA Marketing Research Company showed more than 50 per cent of Viet Nam's urban residents visited scenic spots or travelled to sea and mountain resort towns twice a year.
Those travelling four or five times a year accounted for 22 per cent of 2,000 people in Ha Noi and HCM City surveyed by the FTA.
More than 50 per cent travelled on holidays, while 22per cent also booked tours on special days like birthdays and wedding anniversaries of family members.
More HCM City residents (71 per cent) were fond of travelling than Ha Noi (59 per cent), the survey found.
Over 68 per cent of travellers chose to book four-day tours organised on holidays like Tet (the Lunar New Year), Liberation Day (April 30) and National Day (September 2).
Two-day tours were also attractive to many domestic tourists, mainly the youth.
Residents in Ha Noi and HCM City spend between VND2 million-VND5 million (US$110-280) on tourist travel, the survey estimated.
Sixty-two per cent of the respondents said travelling helped them relax and enjoy more time with family members and relatives. Only 5 per cent travelled with business partners while 32 per cent liked going on tours with friends.
While 56 per cent people bought eco-tours last year and only 3 per cent joined team building trips, the survey showed that 95 per cent of people in Ha Noi and 85 per cent in HCM City preferred tours organised by themselves.
They said tours offered by travel agencies were expensive. The shortage of professional tour guides was also among problems mentioned by the respondents.
Viet Nam welcomed 3.8 million foreign visitors last year, a decrease of 11.5 per cent over 2008, but domestic visitors increased by 19 per cent to 25 million people, according to the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.
The number of high income earners has continued increasing, and this has seen more Vietnamese travelling abroad.
The National Institute for Tourism Development Research recently reported that the number of Vietnamese people booking overseas tours increased 30 per cent last year over 2008.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News