Vietnam tourism workers take advantage of long weekend rush

Tran Minh Phuc, a cyclo driver in Hue, earned about VND5 million ($218.26) a day during the long weekend that ended Monday, 10 times more than normal days.

He took tourists through the city’s iconic tourist attractions including Truong Tien Bridge, Ngo Mon Gate in front of the Imperial Citadel and Dong Ba Market, charging 150,000 VND for a 20-minute bike ride.

Phuc said he switched to farming during the two years of the pandemic and returned to his old job after tourism activities resumed in Hue earlier this year.

During the holidays, he worked non-stop from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and had almost no time for lunch.

A cyclo driver in the Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian zone in Hue city on April 9, 2022. Photo VnExpress/Hoang Phong

Thua Thien-Hue province, home to Hue, received 35,000 visitors during the three-day break, six times more than the New Year holiday.

Hotel occupancy rates have reached 70-80%, with many downtown three- to five-star hotels operating at maximum capacity.

Nguyen Thi Khanh Huong, a receptionist at a three-star hotel in downtown Hue, said they were fully booked between April 8 and April 11, with customers mostly runners taking part in the VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue.

“This is the first time my hotel was fully booked after almost two years.”

Nguyen Hieu, CEO of tourism company Vitamin Tours, which specializes in tours that include hotel accommodation, said his company was busy during the holidays, with many last-minute bookings.

Hieu said many three-star hotels in Sa Pa in the northern highlands and four- to five-star hotels in Ha Long, home to Ha Long Bay, were nearly full on April 9-10.

Two restaurants on Xuan Vien Street in Sa Pa, with a capacity of about 1,000 people, were overcrowded during the holiday. The restaurant chain owner had to mobilize more staff to serve around 2,500 to 3,000 customers every day.

Le Tan Triet, sales and marketing manager of Terracotta Hotel & Resort Da Lat in the Central Highlands resort, said they were operating at 95% capacity during the holiday.

Crowds flood the area near the famous night market in the <a class=resort town of Da Lat in the central highlands on April 10, 2022. Photo by Pham Minh Tai” data-natural-h=”721″ data-natural-width=”1200″ src=””/>

Crowds flood the area near the famous night market in the resort town of Da Lat in the central highlands on April 10, 2022. Photo by Pham Minh Tai

Hoang Thuy Linh, deputy director of marketing and communications at leading tour operator Saigontourist, said he served more than 8,000 customers during the holiday.

Most customers bought combo packages to beach tourist spots such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon and Da Nang.

“We see this as a positive signal, raising higher hopes for the long Reunification Day break (April 30),” Linh said.

Da Nang city welcomed nearly 80,000 tourists during the holiday, about eight times more than the New Year holiday.

Cao Tri Dung, chairman of the Da Nang Tourism Association, said businesses are optimistic and excited about the revival of the domestic tourism market after nearly two years.

“This holiday weekend has generated good momentum, an opportunity for localities and businesses to practice, stabilize staff and improve quality to welcome tourists again during the upcoming holidays at the end of April,” said Dung said.

The three-day weekend, including the Hung Kings Memorial Day on Sunday, came a week after the Ministry of Health announced that the Covid-19 pandemic was showing signs of slowing down in the country, with a decline in infections, severe cases and deaths. He said the pandemic had been brought under control.

Reunification Day and Labor Day fall on the weekend, which means people will have two extra days off, totaling a four-day break.

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