The shortage of human resources in the tourism industry and the poor tourism experience are issues that need to be resolved for the Mekong Delta provinces to renew themselves and increase the attractiveness of tourism products.

Having traveled to the Mekong Delta, Hoai Phuong (24 years old, Ho Chi Minh City) has no intention of returning. Experiencing going to a tourist area in Tien Giang, witnessing mayhem, and fighting for tourists made Phuong depressed.

The most developed tourism product in the West is ecotourism, mainly canoeing, visiting floating markets, and enjoying Vietnamese fruits.

But it’s been the same for many years, boring and no breakthrough in tourism types to make them more attractive. Not to mention the home-style accommodation facilities, but the service quality is not guaranteed,” the Saigon guy shared.

After a period of “hibernation”, and moderate operation because of the pandemic, many travel agencies in the Mekong Delta have started to restart and recorded many positive signals.

“The number of tour bookings increased by 10% compared to the same period in the Covid-19 period, but still far below the time before the epidemic,” said Ms. Ngoc Trinh, deputy director of Mekong Travel.

The company’s tours cannot be the same as before, a representative of this travel business said. The destinations of this business in Vinh Long, Ben Tre have not yet fully opened. It is estimated that only about 50% of travel businesses and partners have resumed operations. The lack of foreign tourists – the leading customer group, causes Mekong Travel to change its business model, focusing on domestic tourists.

Ms. Ngoc Trinh, Deputy Director of Mekong Travel Company, also shared that the most significant difficulty comes from finding personnel. During the epidemic, everyone had applied for leave; many people went to find other jobs, did other industries, and did not return, Trinh said.

With the changing target audience being domestic tourists, this poses a requirement for tourism businesses in the Mekong Delta to transform into new models and new business methods.

From dishes to services, tourism products must change to suit the needs and preferences of domestic customers,” said Ms. Trinh, who still focuses on promoting eco-tourism products. They are associated with the river and garden, transmitting indigenous culture and delicious dishes of Southern cuisine to tourists.

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