Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Traveling businesses did not appeal to travellers regarding very long getaways

One month ago, Saigontourist released the list of 100 tours, both domestic and outbound, providing a wide range of choices for the April holiday.

Especially, on the HCM City Tourism Day, the travel firm introduced to the visitors more than 200 tourist programs in the festival season. A lot of attractive programs with big discounts rates have been launched, including the IKO Travel tours with the offered discount rate of up to 40 percent.

Lien Bang Travel announced the VND500,000 discount for the tours to the north on the King Hung death anniversary.

The 5-day long April holiday is believed to be the golden opportunity for travel firms to “make money” to offset the revenue decreases in the low season. However, the firms reportedly remain thirsty for clients.

Luong Duy Doanh, Deputy General Director of Ngoi Sao Moi, said that though big discount rates have been offered for every tour, the number of travelers booking tours so far remains very modest.

“Even the domestic attractive tours also cannot attract travelers,” he complained, adding that no sign of recovery has been seen in the tourism market.

The director of a Hanoi-based travel firm has also confirmed that the number of travelers has reduced by 20 percent over the same period of the last year, despite the airfare reduction in a large scale and the attractive promotion programs.

“No tour has been fully occupied yet. The booking rate of 70-80 percent would be a success,” he said.

Other travel firms have also reported the sharp falls in the number of travelers in groups. However, they hope to see higher numbers of separated tourists. In general, the tourists book tours just one or two days in advance.

Spending money on children’s formula instead of tours

Unlike the previous years, when people hurried to prepare for the long trips on holidays, they now decided to stay at home to save money.

Hoang Kim Lien, an office worker in Ba Dinh district in Hanoi, said her family members would gather at the grandparents’ house to enjoy small parties instead of going out.

“My husband still cannot receive salaries for the last months. Meanwhile, we have just had a baby. Therefore, traveling has become a “luxurious hobby” for us,” she said.

Vu Vinh Phu, Chair of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, said he is not surprised about the low travel demand this season. The purchasing demand was very low in the first 3 months of the year. The goods total retail revenues only increased by 1 percent instead of 8-10 percent at the same periods of the previous years.

Phu said the national economy has been stagnant in the context of the high inflation. “People spend money on formula products for their children, on petrol to drive their motorbikes, and on the essential goods for daily meals. They have to cut the expenses on unessential goods and services, especially entertainment services,” Phu noted.

Vu The Binh, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Tourism Association, has admitted that the number of foreign travelers decreased by 10 percent this high season earlier this year.



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