|Staycation trend embraces local beauties
For many years, Linh Giang’s family has had the habit of exploring Hanoi on weekends or during short vacations, although both were born and raised here. Taking the role of a tourist, she and her husband often book hotel rooms around the Old Quarter, discover the famous cuisines that create the culinary taste of Hanoi, drink Ta Hien beer, wander the walking streets, and go to bars and join in many other entertainment activities like real tourists.
Sometimes, she and her husband buy tours to famous landmarks in the city or explore some traditional villages in the suburbs. Giang said that the travel experience in the city itself is a way for her to regain balance after the stress of work when she cannot go on long-term trips.
“We have been in Hanoi for over 40 years, but it turns out that this city still has a lot of interesting things to explore. Role-playing travellers helps us keep a fresh feeling and eagerness towards the place that is so familiar,” Giang said.
Though Giang’s hobby is considered strange by her friends, recently, when the pandemic prevented people from travelling to other localities in the country, more and more of them chose to travel in or near where they live. Born of mandatory circumstances, the trend has become more and more widespread in the first months of the year and continues developing into a tourism trend called staycation.
The term staycation is a combination of stay and vacation and refers to local trips or vacations. This tourism trend started in the West and then became popular in many places around the world.
Staycations not only save time and costs but also contributes to simplifying trips, helping travellers reduce stress and fatigue. In Vietnam, staycations have been very well received and meet the demands of a modern lifestyle, and this is expected to become a favoured travel option for many young families.
Along with a campaign to encourage people to travel their own country called “Vietnamese travel Vietnam” launched by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in response to the pandemic development, local businesses are offering attractive discounts for trendy staycation tours.
Some destinations like Lao Cai, Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hue also cut or removed ticket fees for visitors living in the localities.
“The city is promoting those attractions that many locals do not pay attention to, such as the Cu Chi tunnels, Can Gio beach, and many ancient architectures in the inner city,” said Vo Thi Ngoc Thuy, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Tourism.
“On the weekends, instead of going away, people can visit and explore modern high-rise buildings, traditional markets, and the architecture of the city such as Thong Nhat hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office of Ho Chi Minh City, and the Landmark 81 building,” Ngoc Thuy said.
Meanwhile, travel agencies and tourism businesses are launching attractive staycation packages that will not lead people too far from the city centre and are safe and affordable. Some businesses that have caught the trend have gained positive signals. Indochina Sails, a company specialising in providing 5-star yacht services, said the company’s tours to discover Ha Long Bay were fully booked until the end of July.
Recently, Hanoitourist introduced six special staycation tours, such as a visit to Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi, a night experience tour at Hoa Lo Prison, an eco-tour to Yen Tu-Bac Giang during the litchi season, and a trip by seaplane across Halong Bay from above.
Vietravel, one of the largest local travel businesses, said that since international flight routes have not been re-established, short-term domestic tours offer favourable conditions to attract tourists.
During the first days of the relaunch of its operations, Vietravel received about 100 visitors every day and this number has since increased to 1,200. Vietravel’s representative predicted that the three tourism trends, travelling within less than 300km, small group travels between family members, and individual travellers, will take the throne shortly.
Many hotel groups in Vietnam are also launching promotions for families and groups of friends with international-standard services but extremely reasonable costs.
As such, Intercontinental Hanoi Hotel offers up to 80 per cent off room rates while Intercontinental Nha Trang presents a 3-day-2-night promotion to travellers with a price of VND2.6 million ($110) per room. Marriott Phu Quoc, in addition to a discount on room rates of 68 per cent, also offers guests a complimentary breakfast.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese hotel brands such as Vinpearl hotel and resort have launched preferential packages with offers such as two nights for the price of one or three nights for the price of two. Vingroup also offers a 40 per cent discount on VinWonders tickets for local tourists in 31 provinces and cities.
Elsewhere, Sun World offers incentive programmes at some destinations and gives away lunch buffet tickets for visitors, Ba Na Hills cable car tickets, Muong Hoa mountain train tickets, and Fansipan cable car tickets for tourists staying at Hôtel de la Coupole - MGallery.
Muong Thanh Hotel Group has also launched the Summer Mega Sales, offering enticing room rates from only VND499,000 ($22) per night per room until the end of December 31. Muong Thanh Luxury Dien Lam also launched a combo package of only VND999,000 ($43) for a vacation for families and relatives. Meanwhile, Le Champ Tu Le Resort introduces a special discount for residents of Yen Bai with the price of VND999,000 per room per night.