October 7, 2023 | 07:00 GMT+7
A group of Chinese tourists pose for photos at the central post office in Saigon, June 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Tung
As insiders lament the poor recovery of China, once Vietnam’s biggest tourism market, readers have highlighted the reasons why the Southeast Asian country has failed to attract as many tourists, not only Chinese.
“In addition to being herded like cattle in soulless canteens, perhaps they are tired of walking with cars, of trying to cross the road without risking their lives, or of being harassed with bullets. honk. Not to mention the trash again. During my recent visit to HCMC, I gave up counting the plastic trash floating on the river. It was horrible to see. It is an indictment of the care citizens and authorities have for their own backyard. I traveled in a Lien Hung minivan and I was afraid for my life when the driver ran around flashing his headlights to intimidate other road users, only to pull 5 meters ahead. Never, ever again.”
“Why would you come here when Thailand is next door…”
“Look at what these destinations have to offer, especially for Chinese people who have some money to spend. People with money don’t want ‘cheap’, like poor infrastructure, poor quality , poor services, etc.”
“Chinese tourists, like all other tourists, want value for money. They are not necessarily looking for luxury. Most Chinese tourists in Thailand end up in middle class hotels in Pattaya or Phuket. We travel to Vietnam 2-3 times a year and we stay in Da Nang or HCMC or Hanoi, why? Lack of travel options, very limited train and bus services and not the best quality. We like to go to Hue from Da Dang , overcrowded, dirty and smelly trains. Do you want to go Ba Na Hills from Da Nang, limited services offering a very short stay in Ba Na Hills. The offer of hospitality services (hotels) can compete with any which South Asian country.More promotions are needed to showcase the best of Vietnam.
“I’m sure tourists from other countries will raise similar issues. I doubt it’s just the Chinese. Travel and planned destinations are also about fashion and hype as well as economics. Tourism is “A bargain. This means that a single rotten apple can infect a large portion of the crop if not taken care of properly and on time.”