Tourism heats up as summer vacation begins

15-Jul-2020 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The increasing number of guests booking tours and hotel rooms during the summer vacation has given a much needed boost to the tourism industry, which has been down due to the Covid-19 pandemic over the past several months.

On July 13, TST Tourist Company organised a tour to Phan Thiet for 512 guests, the first among a group of 1,100 tourists who booked TST Tourist’s tours this month. They chose a luxury tour with five-star accommodation in Phan Thiet City.

Nguyen Minh Man, director of marketing and communications at TST Tourist, said the number of guests booking tours has recently increased. Most of them choose luxury services and short tours for one or two days at attractions near HCM City and three to five days for attractions that are farther.

“Tours to sites near HCM City such as Vung Tau attract a large number of tourists. Most of them choose to stay in four or five-star hotels,” Man noted.

Apart from tours, travel companies have also introduced numerous promotional programmes to attract more tourists this summer vacation.

At Fiditour, the number of tours booked has increased by 50-70%. Tours for groups of tourists and MICE (meeting, incentive, conference and event) tours have grown significantly.

“The local tourism market is getting better. A number of our MICE tours have been booked for July and August,” noted Tran Thi Bao Thu, director of marketing and communications at Fiditour.

Most tourists prefer attractions by the sea, such as Vung Tau, Phan Thiet, Phu Quoc and Danang. Some travel companies expect the number of tourists to continue rising in the coming days, helping them ensure their employees can retain their jobs and continue operations.

However, while the prices of package tours have decreased by 15-20%, air ticket prices and hotel room rates have increased at attractions by the sea on the weekends, with prices similar to what they were before the Covid-19 outbreak.

“I booked a bungalow at a four-star resort in Ham Tien for Thursday and Friday. The room rate was VND2.4 million per night, not much cheaper than it was before the Covid-19 outbreak. However, we are offered a free lunch,” stated Linh, a tourist from HCM City. Nguyen Van Khoa, chair of the Binh Thuan Province Tourism Association, revealed that the room occupancy rate at certain resorts and hotels in Phan Thiet City has reached 70-80%, while some resorts are fully booked during weekends.

“We do not lower room rates much but offer complementary services such as free meals or additional stays,” he said.

Most resorts in Phan Thiet have also reopened. “Due to a shorter summer vacation and the closure to international tourists, we expect the number of tourists to be half of what it was last year,” Khoa added.

Meanwhile, in Nha Trang City, several resorts and hotels have not reopened, and the budget hotels that are open for business are finding it hard to compete with the four and five-star hotels.

“Some five-star hotels have lowered their room rates to VND1 million per night. It’s very hard for budget hotels to compete,” admitted Hoang Van Vinh, chair of the Nha Trang Khanh Hoa Tourism Association.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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