Vietnam’s tourism hindered by unhealthy competition

Vietnam’s tourism remains underdeveloped compared to neighboring countries’ due to an unhealthy competition and shortage of cooperation between travel agencies.

Foreign tourists on the ancient town of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam (Photo: Phan Hien)

Experts warn that many tourist spots get less attractive due to a shortage of close supervision.

The natural environment of the southern island of Phu Quoc – one of Vietnam’s most spectacular spot – is getting worse as they are poorly protected by both local residents and tourists.

Soaring food price and dull entertainments have seen most tourists visit the island once for sight-seeing and do not come back again.

Ticket fee of many tourist attractions nationwide always jump up by 50-100 percent in festival and holiday seasons.

Most hotels are simply a place to rest, while souvenir shops focus solely on taking profits from tourists with ridiculous high prices.

Street vendors and beggars, in addition, still scare both foreign and local tourist away.

“Vietnam’s tourism is underdeveloped due to an unhealthy competition and shortage of cooperation between local operators,” says Pham Trung Luong, deputy head of Institute of Tourism Development Research.

“To attract tourists worldwide, we should urgently set up tourist attractions, which can offer tourists necessary services including shopping and sight-seeing with friendly staffs.”

Locals shun local tours

Experts say the number of local tourists attending local tours this year fall on an increasing cost.

Cost of services relating to local tour has climbed up 30 percent and air ticket fee has increased 20 percent, forcing operators to boost their prices.

“Cost of local tours get more expensive than ones of foreign journeys as transportation, hotel fees and even tickets for visiting spots move up on increases in gasoline, electricity and food price,” says Nguyen Van My, director of travel agency Lua Viet.

“Many people even manage to book all rooms in popular resorts in festivals and holidays in an attempt to offer tour operators at significant high prices.”

Tours in neighboring countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, meanwhile, are among locals’ top picks.

Figures from the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism show 490,000 tourist arrivals traveled to foreign countries through Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC in the first six months of the year.

By Yen Lam, Do Linh – Translated by Vu Minh

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