The robust growth in revenue is largely attributed to higher service prices, as the increases of room occupancy and international arrivals have slowed this year.
The department said international arrivals in Ho Chi Minh City had totaled around 1.65 million, up 10% year-on-year. The growth rate in the same period of last year was 12%.
Around 60% of the visitors, or 990,000, came to the city for travel purposes, while 300,000 arrived here for business and 360,000 saw their relatives or went for medical treatment.
Ho Chi Minh City’s top ten source markets are the U.S., Japan, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, France and Russia. The department said arrivals from all these markets but Taiwan had been increasing this year, especially Japan with a year-on-year increase of 19% despite the earthquake and tsunami disaster in this country in March.
The department also mentioned strong business performance at three- to five-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, which posted average room occupancy of 70%, up 11 percentage points from the same period of last year.
The average room tariff has also increased slightly from US$92 per night to US$94. In the first half of last year, the average rate went down 18% from the first six months of 2009.
The three- to five-star hotel segment has been faring better. Ho Chi Minh City now has 73 hotels with 9,700 rooms, up 13 hotels with around 1,100 rooms compared to the first six months of last year.
Some Vietnam tour operators and hoteliers told the Daily that among the main reasons for a sharp pickup in tourism revenue in January-June were inflation and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against Vietnam dong.
“The hotel revenue has grown strongly in the first half because of the rise of the dollar against the dong. The average room occupancy is 82% but the profit is lower than a year ago because of higher costs,” said Nguyen Thi Xuan Hong, director of the three-star Vien Dong hotel in District 1.