HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Based on its 90 million population, Vietnam has the potential to become the tourism star of mainland ASEAN, but encouraging domestic tourism also remains an important factor to kick-start a travel boom.
Vietnam has the largest population of all ASEAN nations with the exception of off-shore Indonesia and the Philippines.
Many travel companies are already reporting gains in domestic tourism as trips to Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc are packed.
Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association deputy chairwoman, Nguyen Thi Khanh, told local media that demand exceeded supply as domestic tours became more competitive.
Domestic tours attracted 33 million buyers in 2012, 35 million buyers in 2013 and 13.7 million buyers in the first quarter of 2014. They are expected to attract 37.5 million buyers in 2014.
According to the Vietnam Tourism Association, a large number of Vietnamese also bought outbound tours as the prices are competitive. They caught the travel bug after enjoying domestic tours over the last few years and this is driving a boom in outbound tours to neighbourng countries.
Tourism associations will work with each other to create publications introducing local tourism potential and promote regional connectivity to support domestic tourism a vital tool to introduce travel.