Vietnamese travelers have shown no interest in the sale promotion
programs applied for domestic tours. They have still chosen outbound tours.
Travel firms all complain that they are experiencing a slump, though it is now
the high sale season. Despite a lot of sales promotion campaigns, the number of
foreign tourists to Vietnam remains modest. Meanwhile, Vietnamese prefer
traveling abroad than domestically.
Joining hands or dying
Travel firms and air carriers have had a lot of meetings to discuss the
airfare reductions, a part of the plan to slash tour fees. Hotel developers and
transport service providers have also joined the discussions about what to do to
attract more travelers.
The Thua Thien – Hue provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said
it has joined hands with the hotel association, travel firms and transport firms
to force the tour fees down in a tourism demand stimulus program in 2013.
Hotels have committed to reduce the room rates by up to 50 percent, offering
vouchers with discounts for beauty services, giving free lunches or dinners to
those who book rooms, cutting down the transport fees, excursion tickets, and
exemption excursion fees for students.
Travel firms said they not only have joined hands with domestic airlines, but
international airlines as well in order design the tours with the best fees for
The travelers who book the tours to Singapore, Bali and Australia from February
to May 2013 would enjoy the discount of VND3 million. Especially, the sharp fee
reduction of VND14 million has been offered to those who book tours to Europe.
Nguyen Thi Khanh, Deputy Chair of the HCM City Tourism Association, said the
association’s members have nearly reached an agreement with Vietnam Airlines on
a new tourism promotion program for domestic travelers. Tens of the travel firms
would be able to buy air tickets from the national flag air carrier at low
The details of the program would be made public in late March 2013, while Khanh
has affirmed that the program would be very attractive and that it’s now the
right time to book tours to enjoy preferences.
However, despite the great efforts, travel firms still cannot lure more
tourists. Vu The Binh, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Tourism Association, has
reported the considerable decrease in the number of tourists. Especially, the
number of foreigners to Vietnam in the first two months of the year was 10
percent lower than the same period of the last year.
Vietnamese prefer traveling abroad
Vietnamese consider going to neighboring countries such as Thailand,
Singapore, China and Laos when planning their tourism plans instead of domestic
Binh has admitted that the situation is bad for travel firms. Vietnamese people
have the hobby of traveling, especially going on pilgrimages in spring. However,
the number of travelers seems to go down this spring.
Binh has pointed out that travel firms should not blame this on the economic
recession which has force people fasten their belt. “They (people) still spend
money on travel, but they don’t spend money on domestic tours, simply because
they cannot see attractive products with good prices,” Binh said.
“They may realize that it is less costly for them to travel abroad, while they
can enjoy better services. Especially, they don’t have to worry about the
overcharging, which they would meet if going to domestic destinations,” Binh