VIE-STYLE

Visitors impressed by what Việt Nam has to offer

Take a walk around some of Việt Nam’s tourism hot spots these days and its plain to see that business is beginning to boom once more.

Lê Hương

Take a walk around some of Việt Nam’s tourism hot spots these days and it’s plain to see that business is beginning to boom once more.

The tourism sector, a key component in the country’s economic ambitions, is rising from the ashes strewn by COVID-19.

And the figures speak for themselves.

Take Tết for instance. During the Lunar New Year a staggering 750,000 international visitors arrived on our shores, a remarkable rise of 54 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Authorities the length and breadth of the country are busy thrashing out new and diverse ways to not only promote tourism services, but to develop them, in a sustainable fashion.

And while it’s clear to see the country must move forward, we should never forget our rich cultural traditions so idiosyncratic to Việt Nam.

In Hà Nội, the capital city that oozes character, visitors are still blown away by the heady mix of old and new. And of course, the food.

Waleria Hjelm, a Danish visitor, told Việt Nam News: “Denmark has quite a lot of restaurants that serve Vietnamese food and I travel for the food, like to experience different countries’ food.

“So after trying it in Denmark, I decided that I need to come and experience Vietnamese food and history which we also learned about in Denmark.”

Nerijus Petrokas, from Lithuania, added: “Việt Nam is so much different from anything else so I enjoy watching the people walking around the main streets.

“We also explore the little streets, a little away from the main tourist places. There is a vibrant mix of the city and the nature.”

Having Vietnamese blood in her body, Linda Bouayed from France said three years ago, she did an internship here in Hồ Chí Minh City, and now she’s back in Southeast Asia as part of a three-month trip.

“I think it’s one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen in my life,” she said. “And it’s different when you go to the south.”

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Nerijus Petrokas, from Lithuania, takes photos of Waleria Hjelm, from Denmark, by Hoàn Kiếm Lake in Hà Nội.

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Photo Lê Hương

Dave Foster, from the US, was impressed with the warm and friendly welcome he and his wife received in the capital.

“I think most people come here because it’s authentic and we want to see the way you guys live,” he said.

“We respect and understand your culture and customs, which is a lot different from what we are used to in the West.”

Dave’s only regret was their trip was too short – giving this couple a reason to return.

“I enjoyed the culture, and the people,” he noted. “I also enjoyed the food and it’s a very welcoming environment.”

Dan Rhodes, from the UK, shared the same opinion on people and food.

“I would absolutely recommend it to people that it’s an amazing place to film and I definitely have only managed to do in Hà Nội this time and I also want to go to Ninh Bình and Hạ Long Bay,” he said. “I want to do in the rest of the country like all the middle and down south.”

Business opportunities

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Tourists at a restaurant in downtown Hà Nội. VNA/

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Photo Minh Quyết

But it’s not just the tourists benefitting. Business owners of all sizes are also encouraged by the increase in visitors.

Đào Xuân Trường, Manager of Puku Restaurant in downtown Hà Nội said his venue has seen an incredible rise in the number of tourists since the Government increased the visa exemption timescale from one month to three.

“I have seen many tourists, who used to come to Puku, return,” he said.

“They have been here for three months. Many new customers are visiting, mostly from Europe. Last December, there were many Indian visitors thanks to the new non-stop flight between India and Việt Nam.”

Trường said the restaurant has recruited more staff to offer the best service.

“I hope the Government will open more, and offer more direct flights between India or Australia to Việt Nam,” he added.

“I hope the flight routes are more convenient. More foreigners visiting Việt Nam will boost revenue at many places, including restaurants like Puku.”

Generosity

With more visitors comes more responsibility, and travel companies know they must step up their game to meet market demand.

Bùi Băng Giang, founder of Asia Exotica Vietnam said this is a peak period for tourists from South America particularly Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia as well as those from Spain and Portugal.

The peak tourism season for this tourist group is between January and March.

“The Asia Exotica team is very happy to receive a continuous large number of tourists every day from all over Việt Nam and countries in the region, which is an encouraging sign,” she said.

Giang added that the soaring number of tourists has been in their company’s forecast and in line with predictions by some of the world’s leading travel experts.

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Tourists explore local street food in Hà Nội’s Olđ Quarter. VNA/

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Photo Minh Quyết

Asia Exotica has recently joined Fitur International Trade Fair in Spain, where people shared experience, information and forecasts for tourism trends in 2024.

“Việt Nam is among the destinations that tourists are giving priority to in 2024,” she said.

“We will take this chance and prepare staff for this. We have prepared various tour packages and services for visitors to bring them the most typical experiences of Việt Nam.”

Giang said the company and partners in the tourism sector are trying to refresh products to offer the best possible experiences.

“We are proposing an idea and hope to receive consensus from other partners in the tourism sector – we want to highlight the generosity and hospitality of Vietnamese people,” she said.

Giang believes a key factor for ensuring the best possible service for visitors is in people-to-people exchanges. She wants to exploit the wonderful nature of Vietnamese, making sure visitors come back for more.

“It would be very wonderful if we could highlight that beautiful feature of Vietnamese people,” she said.

Targets have been set to welcome 18 million foreign visitors to Việt Nam this year.

And while that goal is achievable, we want each and everyone of them to love the time they spend here, and leave with only positive memories that will last a lifetime.

Theo Vietnamnews

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Soaring numbers of international visitors is an encouraging sign for Việt Nam’s tourism sector. VNA/

Theo Vietnamnews

Photo Minh Quyết