KHANH HOA – The number of international holidaymakers to the central province of Khanh Hoa dropped by 20%-25% in September, mostly in four and five-star hotels and luxury resorts, said the province’s Tourism Association in a conference to boost the tourism industry last Saturday.
Strong turnover decline was recorded at travel agencies in Europe and America over the last six months while the Northeast Asia market dropped by 10%-30%. The flow of international travelers to Khanh Hoa will be further reduced this year as overseas travel industry partners have canceled around 50% of the trips to the province due to a shortage of tourists.
In 2008, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism expected to attract over 300,000 visitors to the province plus 18,500 by cruise ship. Khanh Hoa now has nearly 400 hotels with over 9,000 rooms, including four five-star hotels, two four-star hotels and 10 three-star hotels.
Hotel room rates, in Khanh Hoa in particular, continue to go up. Three- to five-star hotel rates are up by 12%-15% while mini hotels are two or three times higher than in the low season.
The price of entertainment is also up. Admission to the Mun Island tourist site remains at VND40,000 a person but prices in luxury restaurants and in middle class eateries have soared by 10%-12% and 5%-7% respectively.
The tourism department expects to woo a greater number of tourists this year as they will give more preferential policies to local tourism developers, upgrade Cam Ranh Airport to an international airport and give early approval for the 2009 Sea Festival program in order to boost advertising. Tourist service providers are asked to reduce prices, launch more attractive packages and provide professional staff training.
The association suggested focusing on promotions or special tours, advised enterprises to invest money for domestic and overseas advertising and cooperate together to overcome difficulties.
They also proposed the local government reduce admission fees to local tourist sites and relics and provide low interest loans for small and medium tourism developers.
By Khue Viet Truong - The Saigon Times Daily