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Vietnam's travel revenue rises 35 percent in first half

2011-07-19 (GMT + 7)

Vietnam's travel revenue in the year’s first half surged a staggering 35.5% to VND62 trillion, or more than US$3 billion, compared to VND45 trillion in the year-ago period, the national tourism body said.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism attributed the strong rise to higher service prices, the bigger number of both local and foreign travelers, and the strong growth of the high-spending visitors segment.

Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the tourism authority, told the Daily on Tuesday that the country’s tourism welcomed over 2.96 million foreign visitors in the period, up 18.1% year-on-year while the number of domestic travelers was also high at over 17.5 million. “The sharp increase in the number of guests local and foreign alike using high-end services at tourist destinations contributed strongly to the income of the sector. The growth in the period was also due to better service quality,” he said.

He said that the average occupancy rate at high-end hotels and resorts, especially those in the beach areas, was high in the first half of this year.

The country currently has 12,000 tourism accommodations with 235,000 rooms. Three- to five-star facilities make up 19% of the total number of rooms.

There are 48 five-star hotels with over 12,000 rooms, 110 four-star hotels with nearly 13,500 rooms and 235 three-star hotels with nearly 16,400 rooms.

The high-ranking official also added that the industry was facing higher costs, which pulled up service prices in the first half.

“Prices of materials for the food and beverage sector increased at double-digit rates, prompting the final price to strongly increase too,” Tuan said.

Tuan said the average length of international visitors’ stay in the country is about 10.5 days and they spend an average of US$1,024 per guest, excluding the airfare. Visitors from destinations such as Australia and Russia stayed in the country longer than those from other destinations.

According to him, the average length of foreigners’ stay in some big cities like Ho Chi Minh City was lower than the country’s average rate.

Ho Chi Minh City, for example, recorded the average length of foreign visitors’ stay at 2.5 days, or just one-fourth of the country’s average because many foreign visitors just transit at Tan Son Nhat International Airport before going to other destinations especially the beach areas for travel and relaxation.

Source: SGT

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