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01/07/2022 - 10:33

The return of European and North American tourists to Hue

It is forecasted that the end of 2022 would be the earliest possible time for regular European and North American tourists to return to the country; however, Hue has welcomed its first groups of visitors just recently.

Regular European and North American tourists are increasingly coming back to Hue 

Choosing Hue

When Vietnam was just fully opened (on March 15), a plan to welcome back international visitors was proposed for the tourism industry. It helped the industry to be more proactive in product solutions and to restore services with a roadmap to welcome and serve customers according to each market. Accordingly, the flows of European and North American tourists were expected to gradually recover after those from Southeast Asia and East Asia.

Ever since the travel restriction was lifted, particularly in April and May of 2022, the recovery in the return rate of European and North American tourists has been earlier than expected and shows promising signs for the future. 

The city of Hue and its tourist spots have recently seen more influx of European and North American tourists, not only in small groups or individuals but also in large groups of up to 50 people.

In particular, the majority of tourists come from France and the United States, with as many as 500 arrivals from each country in the last two months. The next two countries, Germany and Britain, have roughly 200-300 each. Several Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and Canadian tourists have also started coming to Hue.

According to the Department of Tourism, Hue recently has welcomed two large groups of French nationals to visit and enjoy its tourism services after a long time, due to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first group of 59 guests stayed at Century Riverside Hotel Hue, while the second group of 36 stayed at Muong Thanh Hue Hotel.

They all chose to visit heritage sites as well as experience the typical culture of Hue such as Ca Hue _Hue Singing, enjoy going by cyclos, visiting private museums, and enjoying Hue's unique cuisine...

"It's magnificent, and the feeling is not only mine but also of all of us," Guillaume Hubert, a tourist from one of the groups, said. “We are greeted with an incredibly warm and loving welcome and were impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the staff. The food is also very delicious. We are able to experience some truly delicious flavors for the first time. We had interesting and memorable days in Hue,” He added.

Another tourist, Camille Brec, shared that her family had wanted to come to Hue for a long time because they knew of its beautiful culture and landscape. Thus, as soon as the pandemic was under control, her family chose Vietnam as the first family trip abroad. According to Camille, people in France have already started making travel plans, and many have chosen Vietnam as a destination.

Efforts to make impression

Nguyen Ngoc Phuc, Head of Reception Unit at Century Riverside Hotel Hue, shared that it was an honor to welcome and serve visitors from far away Europe returning to stay and enjoy their days at the hotel after the devastating pandemic. Compliments from the guests were the key motivation for the hotel to maintain and continue to improve its high-quality services in the future.

A positive indicator for the return of regular European and North American tourist flows was the involvement of big international travel agencies in bringing in visitors. The two recent groups of tourists were served by two big international travel agencies, Trendtours and EXO Travel.

A representative of EXO Travel Company said that Europeans and North Americans, after a long time travelling within their continents, have begun to "move" to other regions. The number of European tourists to Vietnam in general and Hue, in particular, would gradually increase over the next few months. There are also two major changes in the demand of the European and North American tourists: the tendency to experience more as well as the level of spending are also higher than before.

According to experts, this change in demand shows the general trend of tourists in the time of post-pandemic. After a time of being “delayed”, tourists will be willing to spend more money for worthwhile and valuable experiences.

Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Director of the Department of Tourism, said that to impress tourists and create a destination rich in hospitality, the tourism sector has warmly welcomed and greeted recent tourist groups to Hue. Industry leaders directly participate in welcoming and showing their hospitality to the tourists. As a result, this word-of-mouth promotion is an effective one transmitting to the future groups, and confirming that Hue is officially ready to welcome guests back to the province.

“Hue tourism industry is preparing for a promotional campaign on CNN channel and going to have 7 weeks of broadcasting on this media channel's digital platform in Hue's key and regular tourist markets,” Mr. Phuc said.

“The task has been set for Hue tourism in terms of services and products to accommodate the newly changed demands of international tourists. Regarding cultural and heritage products, the tourism industry will coordinate with Hue Monuments Conservation Center to provide services with more depth and experience value. We will continue to encourage businesses to come up with cultural experience products. In addition to heritage culture, which is a product line that attracts European and North American customers, the industry will try to improve the quality of other products, especially resorts and wellness, so that each group of visitors will receive the most attentive service,” said Mr. Phuc.

Story and photo: Duc Quang

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