Vietnam recorded 76.5 million domestic tourists in the first seven months, about 11 times the number of foreign arrivals. Last year, the number was 101 million. This is enough to show that domestic tourists play an important role in the dynamism of the entire sector.
And yet, Google search data on outbound travel demand among Southeast Asians, released in late August, showed that Vietnamese people are most interested in going abroad.
Vietnamese tourists leaving home are an inconvenience for the industry, and insiders are looking for ways to entice them to spend money in Vietnam.
There are many reasons why Vietnamese tourists leave their country, including scams and lack of respect, like what happened to me.
My experience happened at an upscale resort in October several years ago. My company paid for the trip for me and my wife. When I called to confirm my room, someone at the resort told me that they had had a large number of tourists and were out of rooms that my company had reserved for me. They suggested I pay more for a better room. I wanted to take this trip, so I agreed to pay more.
When we arrived, I noticed that the resort was not as busy as this person had claimed. This made sense because October was not a peak month. But I gave up.
Then we were taken to our room, which was completely normal, not very upscale as the person had told me on the phone. In fact, it wasn’t worth my money. We were placed on the second floor, although there was no one on the first or third floor. We had some security concerns about this. But once again, we gave up.
Then came the story of the bicycle.
I was walking past the reception when I heard the receptionist say to a foreign tourist: “All guests staying here can borrow our bicycles to get around for free.” I was excited and came with a smile asking for a bike.
But before I could finish my sentence, the receptionist said, “Sorry, Vietnamese guests cannot borrow the bicycles. »
I asked why there was such discrimination. She hesitated and changed her answer: “We don’t have any bikes anymore.”
All my enthusiasm for the trip disappeared. And I believe that such disrespect for Vietnamese tourists, those who contribute so much to the industry, has caused them to turn away.
It has come to a point where Vietnamese tourists decide they have had enough and would be better off spending money on better services elsewhere.