According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in the first seven months of this year, Ho Chi Minh travel welcomed more than 1.8 million tourists, marking an increase of 10 percent from the same months of last year. Revenue from tourism in the first seven months of this year reached VND26.26 trillion, an increase of 24 percent compared to the same months of last year, equal to 54 percent of 2011 plan. To obtain these results, Ho Chi Minh City always focuses on improving human resources and service quality. The city has enhanced planning, diversifying tourism products and cooperating with other provinces. Truong Vinh Tho, the head of the Hotel Department under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that the city has now 836 hotels including 13 five star hotels, 13 four star hotels, 47 three star hotels, 167 two star hotels and 596 one star hotels.
To meet increasing demand of the tourism sector including eco-tours, relaxing tours and golf tours, especially the strong development of MICE tourism, it is estimated that until 2012, Ho Chi Minh City needs 17,000 luxurious rooms to serve five million of international tourists. Therefore, many businesses have intensified investment in improving tourism services and expanding accommodations facilities. Recently, the Majestic Hotel has built 353 rooms which are estimated to come into use until October 2011. A new building of the Grand Hotel will be built. This hotel will be upgraded into a five star hotel with about 500 rooms. In the context that the tourism sector has seen a strong growth rate and the money sunk in this sector has continuously increased, Ho Chi Minh City will make plan on developing hotel system until 2015 with a vision to 2020 to meet the demand of the tourism sector in the new period.
Tran Hung Viet, the Saigontourist director general, said with an increase of 15 percent annually in the number of tourists to Ho Chi Minh City, the demand of luxurious hotels will be very large. At present, luxurious hotels under Saigontourist management accounts for one third of hotels in the city. Under the local authorities' assistance, the company has enhanced building and improving its hotels. With more than VND300 billion, a new building of the Rex Hotel has been built, helping the hotel meet five star standards. The four star Novotel Sai Gon with 250 rooms and five star Pullman Sai Gon Centre with 300 rooms will come into use until 2012-2013. In the future, Saigontourist will build two five star hotels of Germadetp and Kim Do. Those hotels will be completed within three years. It is estimated that until 2015, the number of luxurious rooms under Saigontourist management will increase by 2,000 rooms.
At a recent meeting discussing the tasks in the last six months of this year, Ho Chi Minh City has set its tasks in promoting tourism including working with the Institute for Tourism Development Research to implement the plans on developing the tourism sector for 2011-2020 with a vision toward 2030; carrying out the action plan on developing river-based tourism in Can Gio District, surveying two river-based tourism routes and organizing Nghing Ong Festival in the district; developing river-based tourism routes of Bach Dang Wharf-the artist village and Sai Gon-Binh Duong-Cu Chi; working with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport to check restaurants in the city and making plan on the Ho Chi Minh City's 100 interesting thing program. In addition, the city will intensify the standardized tourism program through surveying demand of buying souvenirs, checking 10 shopping places and 20 restaurants, enhancing advertising programs on the city's tourism sector within and outside the country, classifying hotels which have registered with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism according to the government regulations.