A bumper summer for domestic tourism

August 05, 2022 | 15:22
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Overcrowding at airports and popular domestic destinations during the peak season for domestic tourism is familiar, but this year it is an increasingly serious problem.

Domestic tourism is on a rapid recovery after a two-year hiatus, but this sudden and rapid recovery also makes both tourists and workers feel tired.

Tra My, who lives in Hanoi, took a trip to Dak Lak last weekend. My said it took her more than 40 minutes to check in and go to the airport, instead of the usual 15 minutes.

“The airport becomes too crowded for the number of passengers that need to be served every day. Congestion occurs as soon as you reach the airport. Luckily, the flight was delayed for 30 minutes, so I was not late,” My said.

A bumper summer for domestic tourism
A bumper summer for domestic tourism

The same situation also tends to occur with road and waterway routes to some tourist destinations such as Quang Ninh and Haiphong. Minh Quan from Bac Giang shared that his family had to wait more than four hours to take the ferry from the mainland to Cat Ba island during a trip to Haiphong a few days ago.

“Each large ferry can carry nearly 20 cars, and a small ferry can carry nearly 10, but hundreds of cars are waiting in line, spanning more than 3km,” Quan shared.

Other tourist and entertainment destinations also recorded a sharp increase in the number of visi-tors in the days of July. On average, Hoi An attracts more than 10,000 visitors over weekends and about 5,000 on the remaining days, double the number of tourists coming here in June.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Dam Sen Cultural Park welcomed more than 10,000 visitors a day on aver-age, according to a spokesperson. “There was a time when we were overloaded due to the num-ber of guests arriving at the same time, exceeding our capacity,” he admitted.

In Danang, although there are no official statistics for July, since June, many tourist attractions have recorded a four-fold increase in the number of visitors compared to the same period in 2021. Sun World Ba Na Hills welcomed more than 760,000 visitors and Marble Mountains at-tracted more than 150,000 visitors.

The occupancy rate in Danang is more than 70 per cent, of which the segment of four stars and above is more than 80 per cent. The rate is expected to continue to increase in July because stu-dents have officially entered the summer vacation and coastal cities such as Danang, Phu Quoc, and Nha Trang are always the first choice of tourists in the high season.

Accumulated in the first six months, Phu Yen welcomed over 650,000 visitors, an increase of more than 100 per cent on-year. And in July alone, Thanh Hoa tourism received 1,668,000 visi-tors, an increase of 12.5 times over the same period in 2021.

However, the service quality and capacity of attractions and service facilities cannot always be met when the number of tourists reaches overload. In addition to overcrowding, the main cause of this situation is the serious lack of personnel at service establishments.

Tran Chi Cong, director of Innotour said, “Restaurants and hotels are short of staff, leading to failure to serve customers, making them unsatisfied. Many customers also report that the quality of my company’s tour service is 20-30 per cent lower than before the pandemic, which also af-fects our reputation.”

Currently, one employee at Innotour is taking on two or three different positions. The increased workload along with the high number of guests serving during the peak summer months simply creates more pressure on each worker.

Alma resort in Khanh Hoa province has a total of nearly 700 employees, but still cannot meet the needs of weekend work. General manager Vu Thi Huong Giang said that the resort still needs about 50 more employees for the luggage and room service department. “Recruitment is difficult and existing employees have to work overtime to meet the workload,” Giang said.

Due to the high demand for tourism, airlines are planning to adjust ticket prices and increase the number of flights. Vietnam Airlines Group, which owns Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and VASCO, will provide more than 7.1 million domestic and international flight seats, equivalent to more than 36,000 flights by the end of August. Vietjet also announced operation of 450 flights a day, most of them domestic.

Bamboo Airways has meanwhile increased the number of seats by 15 per cent, mainly on routes to tourist destinations such as Phu Quoc, Danang, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon, and the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City/Danang route. This airline offers more late flights after 7pm in an attempt to re-duce airport congestion during peak times.

In order to shorten check-in times during the peak tourist season, some airlines such as Vietjet and Bamboo opened an additional service that charges $4-6 per flight for guests who want to enjoy quicker check-in procedures at Tan Son Nhat airport. However, this initiative was immedi-ately opposed by customers and the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam requested to stop the implementation from July 20.

The management agency showed that the inappropriate provision of priority check-in services in the context of overloaded airport infrastructure can reduce service quality and affect the interests of other passengers.

According to statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the number of domestic tourists in the first half of 2022 totalled 60.8 million. The strong recovery of such activ-ity with the boom of domestic tourism has helped related revenues in the first six months of 2022 increase by 94.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

By Oanh Do

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