The future of homestays in Vietnam

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The number of people coming to Vietnam combining business with tourism has increased significantly in recent times, and is one of the reasons why arrival numbers have jumped in recent years.

According to the General Statistics Office, last year 15.6 million international visitors came, 2.7 million higher than in 2017. Nearly 7.3 million have arrived in the first five months of this year.

Many opt for vacation rentals and homestays because they find it cheaper than traditional accommodation at hotels.

Besides, it enables them to experience living together with locals and so has become a popular choice, especially among young people who like to travel and explore cultures and eat, live and work with homestay hosts.

Thanks to its many advantages, homestay tourism is also increasingly preferred by foreign tourists and also many Vietnamese, especially younger tourists.

The homestay and vacation rental business models are growing as a result.

Seeing their potential, many Vietnamese are renovating their houses and turning them into accommodation targeted at young local and foreign visitors.

According to tourism sector insiders, the homestay business appeared in Vietnam a few years ago but has only become popular across the country in the last two years.

A report from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said in 2017 Vietnam had 1.76 million homestays with 12.94 million rooms.

They accounted for 10.1 per cent of the country’s total accommodation facilities. But many tourism experts dispute these figures saying they are incomplete and the actual number must be much higher.

According to market research firm AirDNA, the number of Hanoi homestays topped 11,200 as of the middle of last year while in Ho Chi Minh City it was over 20,000 after increasing quite rapidly in the year or so before that.

As of August last year the two cities had 21,994 properties on Airbnb. The average rental was around $36 per room per night in Hanoi and $44 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Trinh Thanh Hung, the owner of a villa in Ho Chi Minh City he offers as vacation rental, said he earns $8,564 a month in revenue.

The rent for a room at the villa is relatively high at $51 per day, he said.

Phan Thi Man Chi, owner of the Nam Thi Homestay in Tien Giang province’s Cai Be Town, said she earns around $855 a month. The average price of a room is $38-$43 per night.

It is quickly becoming popular because developing it involves little difficulty on the part of house owners, especially if they are young and tech-savvy.

They can easily advertise their services at no cost on social media and a myriad of other platforms.

Some market observers said the success of homestays and vacation homes depends on digital marketing and so it is not just about investing in a property but embracing technology.

This explains why most homestay investors are young people who are not fazed by the latest technologies.

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