While international tourists have praised Hoi An as a captivating and enchanting destination, offering a unique blend of ancient culture and natural beauty, local visitors from Vietnam and other Asian countries have a different perspective.

A Town of Contrasting Attractions

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, presents a fascinating contrast in its tourism offerings. The ancient town, with its over 1,300 historic residences, craft villages, and idyllic farmlands, attracts those seeking a tranquil and cultural experience.

A foreign tourist group learns about the process of making black sesame soup during their visit to a workshop in Hoi An, Vietnam. This photo captures the essence of cultural exchange and exploration that Hoi An offers to international visitors.

The ancient town’s allure lies in its ability to weave together a vibrant tapestry of history, countryside charm, and pristine beaches. It presents a serene escape for those seeking to immerse themselves in a bygone era.

However, for local tourists, especially those from Vietnam and certain Asian countries, the appeal lies elsewhere. They tend to favor a more bustling and vibrant tourism scene, seeking diverse activities beyond exploring old houses and rural landscapes.

Nguyen Van Son, chairman of the Hoi An City People’s Committee, acknowledges this disparity in tourist preferences, noting that while international visitors embrace the simplicity of farm life and cultural experiences, domestic tourists yearn for more dynamic and modern attractions.

Foreign tourists participating in a farm tour in Hoi An, Vietnam. This scene captures the allure of cultural immersion that Hoi An offers to international visitors.

A Matter of Perspective and Affordability

The divide in tourist experiences in Hoi An can also be attributed to differences in affordability and spending habits. While Hoi An has been touted as an affordable destination for international travelers, particularly those from the UK, Vietnamese tourists have a contrasting view.

According to the UK’s Post Office report, Hoi An was ranked as the cheapest long-haul destination for British travelers in 2024, based on the average prices of popular tourist items. However, many Vietnamese tourists expressed dissatisfaction with the city’s prices during their recent Reunification Day holiday.

This discrepancy highlights the impact of varying economic backgrounds and preferences on tourism experiences. While Hoi An authorities strive to enhance their offerings to cater to diverse demographics, international tourists remain a key focus, shaping the development of tailored products and services.