Among the most popular tourist destinations in the country, it is not unusual for Da Lat in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, Vung Tau in southern Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, and Nha Trang in south-central Khanh Hoa Province to be filled with seas of travelers during public holidays in recent years.
However, the current four-day public holiday marking Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1), from Saturday through Tuesday, showed a stark contrast.
The occupancy rate of accommodation facilities in Da Lat reached only around 50 percent, or around 50,000 visitors, as of Saturday, according to VTC News.
The number of visitors to the highland city was nowhere near the forecast of 180,000 domestic tourists and 1,500 international travelers.
|No traffic jam occurs on the usually-busy Tran Phu Street in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam during the four-day break marking Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) in 2022. Photo: M. Vinh / Tuoi Tre
The same situation happened in Khanh Hoa Province, home to the popular Nha Trang beach.
About 275,500 people visited Khanh Hoa during the holiday, which the provincial tourism department’s director Nguyen Thi Le Thanh assessed as a sharp increase from the modest numbers in the past two years but did not meet expectations.
|People go to a beach in Vung Tau City, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, Vietnam during the four-day public holiday marking Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) in 2022. Photo: Dong Ha / Tuoi Tre
VTC News quoted a tourism official of the province as saying that most of the large hotels in Nha Trang hit an occupancy rate of about 70 percent, while that of small hotels was only about 20 percent.
Vung Tau City welcomed about 36,000 visitors as of 1:00 pm on Saturday, just half of the 70,000 travelers recorded on April 30 last year, news sites Zing News and Kinh Te & Do Thi (Economics & Urban Affairs) – the mouthpiece of the Hanoi People’s Committee – cited local authorities and newspaper.
The aforementioned sources largely attributed the decline to fear of overcrowding as visitors seemed to have learned from previous holidays, as well as the rainy weather during the current break.
|Visitors go to a beach in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam during the four-day break marking Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) in 2022. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre
Where did the visitors go?
In order to draw travelers during the April 30 holiday, authorities in many central coastal localities, including Da Nang, Thua Thien-Hue Province, Quang Nam Province, Binh Dinh Province, and Phu Yen Province promoted a host of sea tourism programs.
In north-central Thanh Hoa Province, Sam Son City, home to numerous popular beaches, welcomed more than 200,000 tourists every day, Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborers) newspaper cited city deputy chairman Bui Quoc Dat.
|Visitors crowd a beach in Da Nang, Vietnam during the four-day break marking Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) in 2022. Photo: N.D. / Tuoi Tre
In Da Nang, Nui Than Tai Hot Springs Park received 25,000 holiday-makers, while Ba Na Hills, Mikazuki Water Park 365, and Ngu Hanh Son Mountains also attracted 50,000, 15,000 and 13,000 visitors, respectively, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.
Overall, more than 254,000 visitors, including 7,400 international arrivals, came to Da Nang, the tourism department announced on Monday.
|Visitors crowd the An Hoi Bridge in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, May 1, 2022. Photo: Linh Trang / Tuoi Tre
Likewise, an estimated 80,000 tourists visited south-central Binh Thuan Province during the holiday, an increase of about 33 percent compared to the same period last year.
In Quang Nam Province, the Center for Culture, Sports, Radio and Television, which is in charge of selling tickets to Hoi An Ancient Town, revealed that at least 10,000 visitors arrived in the UNESCO-recognized town on Saturday.
As the wave of arrivals continued, vehicles piled up on the road along the sea connecting Da Nang with Hoi An at the end of Saturday afternoon as observed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents.
|Visitors crowd Hoi An Ancient Town in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, May 1, 2022. Photo: Linh Trang / Tuoi Tre
Pham Vu Dung, owner of Chilax Hoi An restaurant on Nguyen Trai Street, said that up to 7,000 customers came to his restaurant each day during the holiday, causing overcrowding.
At times, visitors to Dung’s restaurant and other eateries and cafés on the well-known Cam Chau paddy field jammed the surrounding streets.
|Visitors crowd a restaurant & café on Cam Le paddy field in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, May 1, 2022. Photo: Linh Trang / Tuoi Tre
Staycation — another option
While many people living in Ho Chi Minh City usually escape the metropolis during public holidays, on this occasion, they opted to stay in the city, instead of traveling to crowded tourist destinations.
Particularly, thousands of people congregated in the city’s attractions and entertainment sites on Saturday morning, the first day of the break.
|People queue for tickets to Reunification Palace in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, April 30, 2022. Photo: Hoai Phuong / Tuoi Tre
The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens in District 1, Dam Sen Cultural Park in District 11, Binh Quoi Tourist Village in Binh Thanh District, and Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City were among the favorite destinations.
The crowds consisted of not only residents of Ho Chi Minh City but also those from localities that provide convenient travel to and from the city in one day.
|A family visits the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of History, April 30, 2022. Photo: Hoai Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Cu Chi Tunnels in Cu Chi District, the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, the Central Post Office, Reunification Palace, and many museums also received a large number of visitors.
Besides, numerous families chose staycations — spending one or two nights at luxury hotels in the city, which helps save travel costs and avoid the crowding headache.
|People have a staycation at a luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City during the four-day break marking Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) in 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre