|Russian tourists at a coastal resort in Khanh Hoa Province|
The strong growth of foreign visitor arrivals, especially from China and Russia, the province’s two largest source markets, has led to an imbalance between guest room demand and supply.
Three to four-star hotels, the favorite segment for domestic tourists, are almost fully booked in the summer. Many tour operators have had to divide large groups of tourists into smaller groups that will stay at many different hotels, or opt for outlying areas like Doc Let and Cam Ranh.
However, these solutions are ineffective, so some travel firms have asked customers to visit other coastal destinations such as Mui Ne in Binh Thuan Province, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and Phu Yen Province. Tourists do not prefer one to two-star hotels where rooms are still available.
Nguyen Ngoc An, deputy general director of Fiditour JSC, said that it has been hard to book hotel rooms in Nha Trang since early this year. Employees of the company have been unable to find enough rooms for large groups with each requiring about 50 rooms or so.
About half of the company’s customers have changed to other destinations, An added.
Nguyen Van Thanh, vice chairman of the Nha Trang - Khanh Hoa Tourism Association, also agreed that not only travel firms from other localities but also those in Nha Trang face the same problem. At a hotel of 150-200 rooms, for example, only 15-20% are available for domestic visitors.
Thanh said that the sudden growth of international visitors has beaten all previous forecasts. Russian and Chinese tourists to the city this year may amount to 500,000 and one million respectively.
Khanh Hoa Province now has about 25,000 hotel rooms including about 14,000 three to four-star rooms.
According to data from Khanh Hoa Province’s Department of Tourism, the province lured nearly 285,000 Chinese and 127,000 Russian tourists in the first quarter, a respective increase of over 2.6 and 2.5 times over the same period last year.