The lack of quality services and poor public hygiene are major factors keeping tourists from staying more than one day in the southern beach town Vung Tau, tourism industry insiders said.
Travel agencies in Ho Chi Minh City, which is only two hours away and provides most of the tourists for Vung Tau, said many of their customers just come in the morning and leave at nightfall.
Local tourism officials said at a recent meeting that pollution is a major reason that puts off tourists.
Ho Van Loi, director of the tourism department, said the town has not managed to stop littering in public areas and along the beach, usually by the tourists.
He said there are not enough public toilets and the exisiting ones are poorly maintained.
That is not to mention the risk of tourists being ripped off during peak season, Loi said.
Tourists also said there are very few things to do besides swimming and eating seafood.
“Vung Tau has beach and island resources but not many tourism products have managed to tap that potential,” director of a HCMC travel agency said.
“The town provides some entertainment services but none of them are capable of making tourists really open their wallets.”
There are bars and cafés opening until late in town but, like many other places in Vietnam, Vung Tau has few suitable choices for families like museums, galleries or theaters.