VietNamNet Bridge – 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 clients.

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 prices.

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 destinations.

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 added.

Bao Han