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International tourists travel to Ho Chi Minh take on faster

2010-10-28 (GMT + 7)

Number of foreign tourists travel to Ho Chi Minh city (HCMC) in October surged 50% year on year to around 400,000, taking the total number in the year to date to 2.6 million, up 25% year-on-year, the city’s tourism body said on Monday.

The city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said 80% of the foreign guests have come by air.
“We are seeing the strong growth of air travelers this month. It’s so impressive,” La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the department, told the Daily on Monday.
According to him, many foreign visitors have come to the city before continuing their trips to Hanoi for the celebration of the 1,000th year of Thang Long – Hanoi.
The upsurge in international arrivals has also buoyed up hotel business.
Some representatives of three-to five-star hotels in downtown HCMC told the Daily that their business has posted good performance this month, with the room occupancy being full for many days.
“We expect 72% room occupancy this month compared with 61% last October. The business is faring well,” said Nguyen Thi Xuan Hong, director of the three-star 100-room Vien Dong hotel in District 1.
The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism estimated that the hospitality industry would obtain revenue of VND4 trillion this month, bringing the total revenue of the sector during 10 months to VND32 trillion, up 11% year-on-year.
Khanh said that the city is preparing for a ceremony to welcome the three-millionth international visitor to HCMC in the middle of December, meaning the number of foreign visitors would easily exceed the target of three million.
“Last month, we expected to welcome the three-millionth visitor in late December owing to the strong growth of international travelers, but now we can realize the goal in the middle of that month,” he said.
Khanh noted that a series of promotion activities that the city has been doing since late last year were contributing to the growth of HCMC’s tourism. However, the official is worried that the tourism sector would meet more hardship in promoting tourism next year because of lower budget for the activities.
“We have VND7 billion for tourism promotion this year, down from VND11 billion of 2009. We don’t know the budget for next year. We need a big sum for tourism promotion activities,” he said.

Source: Saigon Times Daily

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