Ho Chi Minh City chosen the most destination for Asia-Pacific tourists to Vietnam

Monday, 25/03/2024 21:55
Ho Chi Minh City, the largest financial centre and most populous locality in Vietnam, has been chosen as the most searched destination for Asia-Pacific tourists visiting the country in the first quarter of this year, VOV reported the article by the Netherland-based travel website Booking.com.
A corner of Ho Chi Minh City by night 

The southern metropolis was followed by the central city of Da Nang, Hanoi, the Central Highlands city of Da Lat, the coastal resort city of Nha Trang, the southern city of Vung Tau, the island city of Phu Quoc, the ancient city of Hoi An, the central city of Hue, and the southern city of Mui Ne.

It is forecasted that the number of searches and bookings for local destinations will continue to increase during summer.

In the domestic market, Da Nang proved to be the most searched and booked destination among Vietnamese tourists in the first quarter. Other popular destinations included Da Lat, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, and Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh City at night (Source: https://vtcnews.vn) 

In the first two months of the year, Vietnam received nearly 98,000 travelers from Australia, equal to 25% of total travelers from this market in 2023. It was also among the five most popular destinations for Australian travelers in Q3.

Meanwhile, Australia was also among the top six largest inbound markets for Vietnam, after the Republic of Korea, China, Taiwan (China), the United States, and Japan.

The Southeast Asian country was also in the top three most favourite tourist destinations for Korean visitors, whilst it was among the top five and top 10 most searched destinations for Japanese and India tourists, respectively.

Breakthrough visa policies needed to boost tourism: insiders

More breakthrough, open and facilitating visa policies are needed to attract foreign tourists, thus fulfilling the target set for this year, insiders have said.

Vietnam aims to serve about 18 million international visitors and 110 million domestic tourists this year. (Photo: thanhnien.vn) 

The Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the country aims to serve about 18 million international visitors and 110 million domestic tourists, and earn some 840 trillion VND (33.89 billion USD) from the sector this year.

Vietnam now waives visas for travelers from 25 countries, with 13 enjoying unilateral exemption.

Since August 2023, Vietnam has issued e-visas for all nationalities and extended their maximum stay from 30 to 90 days, with unlimited entries. Those who get visa waivers under Vietnam's unilateral exemption policy can now stay for 45 days rather than the earlier 15.

Experts have described the visa policies as a tool to sharpen the competitiveness of the domestic tourism industry. Thanks to them, Vietnam has become friendlier in the eyes of foreign holidaymakers.

According to the VNAT, Vietnam welcomed more than 3 million foreign tourists in the first two months of this year, up 68.75% year-on-year and equivalent to 98.5% of the pre-COVID-19 level.

In terms of source market, the strongest recovery was seen in Asia with a year-on-year rise of 77.8%, followed by Europe with a 76% increase; and Oceania, 36.5%.

The Southeast Asian region has experienced a fierce race in tourism with some strong competitors of Vietnam such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore rushing to waive visa requirements and simplify entry procedures for international tourists.

Given this, experts and tourism insiders share the view that Vietnam needs to further relax its visa policies to gain a competitive edge as compared with others in the region.

Specifically, Vietnam should unilaterally expand visa exemption for citizens of countries with a higher level of development, large tourism spending and long-term stays, while piloting visa exemption for short periods (from six to 12 months) for those from some promising, large-scale markets like China and India, they said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is negotiating with 15 countries for mutual visa exemption, and with 80 others for exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders.

The ministry said it will step up negotiations and sign international treaties with a number of countries on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders.

The MoFA has also coordinated with the Ministry of Public Security to propose expanding the list of eligible countries for unilateral visa exemption, and improving infrastructure to facilitate e-visa granting.

Vietnam’s tourism destinations introduced at tourism fair in Malaysia

According to VNA, many tourism attractions of Vietnam were introduced at the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair 2024 which took place in Kuala Lumpur from March 22-24.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair 2024 takes place in Kuala Lumpur from March 22-24. (Photo: travelandtourworld.com) 

The fair was a rendezvous for travel agents, airlines, restaurants and hotels both in Malaysia and abroad to seek partners and explore destinations, new ideas and attractions.

The annual event, the biggest of its kind in Malaysia, showcased nearly 1,400 booths of nearly 5,000 tourism agents, hotels, according to MATTA President Nigel Wong.

On the occasion, Malaysia Airlines announced the decision to open direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to the central beach city of Da Nang, Vietnam with a frequency of five flights a week. Malaysia’s Golden Destination introduced many tours to Vietnam with famous destinations such as Ha Long Bay and Sapa in the north, Golden Bridge and Hoi An ancient town in the central region, and familiar destinations such as the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, among others.

Corn noodle soup: A unique dish in Ha Giang province

People in Trang Kim village in Quan Ba district, Ha Giang Province have created a unique dish from the crop, corn noodle soup, called “pho ngo” in Vietnamese.

Corn noodle soup: A unique dish in Ha Giang province (Photo: dangcongsan.vn) 

Corn on the rocky plateau of Ha Giang is found in rock crevices and grows in harsh climate conditions, so has a good taste and a characteristic aroma. The taste of corn in each noodle blends with the flavour of the northern mountains to create a unique dish.

Corn noodle soup is made the same way as traditional pho. However, corn is less sticky than rice, so making and slicing techniques are more difficult.

Making corn noodles also helps improve the value of corn kernels, thereby contributing to increasing incomes for highlands people.

Visitors to Quan Ba can enjoy a bowl of handmade corn noodle soup in Trang Kim village./.

Compiled by BTA