Dangerous trafficking and cheating decrease Vietnam’s tourism earnings

The recently released report says that while tourism has exploded in the country, the number of foreign visitors who returned was only 40% in 2017. This is less than major regional competitors like Thailand and Indonesia, which counted between 60 and 70%. 55 percent of repeat visitors in 2016, respectively.

He said road safety and cheating on tourism services left a bad impression on international visitors, negatively affecting the quality of visitor experience in many popular tourist destinations in Vietnam.

This has contributed to low repeat visit rates, according to the report, titled “Special Focus: Vietnam Tourism Developments – Stepping Back From Tipping Point – Vietnam Tourism Trends, Challenges and Policy Priorities.”

“The general problem with Vietnam is ‘return visitors’,” said Carl Robinson, an American and former war correspondent who toured Vietnam. VnExpress International. “People come once, check it off their list and don’t come back.”

The World Bank report cited a survey which found that 42.7% of international visitors to Vietnam said dangerous traffic was one of the worst travel experiences, while 24.7% said they had been cheated. by tourism companies. 22.4% of foreigners complained about problems with local vendors, he added.

Foreign tourists buy souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market in downtown Saigon. Photo by Shutterstocks / diemtinh.

“Left unresolved, these problems, combined with increased overcrowding at destinations, risk deterring first-time visitors from returning, as well as fueling negative word-of-mouth referrals,” the report notes.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), road fatalities in Thailand and Vietnam reached 32.6 and 26.1 per 100,000, respectively, last year.

More than 18,720 crashes occurred in Vietnam last year, killing 8,244 people and injuring nearly 14,800, the National Road Safety Committee reported.

Traffic accidents remain the leading cause of death in Vietnam and visitors are often shocked by the chaos they see on Vietnamese streets in major cities.

Meanwhile, travel scams remain a problem in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City despite occasional crackdowns by local authorities, tarnish the country’s image and discourage the return of tourists.

Weak law enforcement and low fines are partly responsible for the widespread fraud perpetrated against visitors, including tricking foreigners into buying things at unreasonable prices.

As Vietnam is in the midst of a tourism boom with a record 15.5 million foreign arrivals in 2018, a 20% year-on-year increase, the numbers have remained lower than in neighboring countries in the region. . Thailand (38 million), Malaysia (25 million) and Singapore (18.5 million) received many more tourists than Vietnam.

Moreover, Vietnam has not done a good enough job of capitalizing on tourism. A survey published last year at the Vietnam Travel and Tourism Summit showed that a foreign tourist spent an average of $ 96 per day in Vietnam in 2017, three times less than in Singapore ($ 325) and well below that of Philippines ($ 115), Indonesia ($ 132), Malaysia ($ 134) and Thailand ($ 163).

Tourism is expected to contribute 10% of Vietnam’s GDP by 2020, as the country hopes to welcome up to 20 million foreign visitors and generate $ 35 billion in tourism revenue.

Vietnam has set a target of receiving 18 million foreign arrivals this year.

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