Vietnamese hit the road for Tet holiday
VietNamNet Bridge – It promises to be a profitable Tet (Lunar New Year) for tour operators who said they are fully booked thanks to a longer than usual holiday.
Glutinous rice cakes, a holiday favourite at Tet, are cooked at a festival of northeast ethnic people. Tour operators expect to cook up big profits this Tet.
Bookings are up 10-15 per cent over last year during the nine-day event, they said.
Travelling during the New Year has become popular in recent years, Le Tuan Anh, head of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism's travel department, said.
Tour operators have capitalised on the trend and are organising many tours during the festival, he said.
A spokesperson for Saigontourist told the Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) newspaper that the company had hoped to sign up 20,000 customers this Tet, 15 per cent year-on-year increase, and has achieved 85 per cent of the target.
Vietravel, which rolled out more than 300 tours this year, has seen customer numbers rise sharply since a nine-day holiday was announced, Nguyen Quoc Ky, its general director, told the Viet Nam Economic Times.
It has achieved 75 per cent and 80 per cent of its inbound and outbound targets, he said.
Domestic tours, especially pilgrimages, most in demand are to Huong Pagoda in Ha Noi, Yen Tu, which is the centre of Zen Buddhism in the country, Con Son Kiep Bac Historical Relics in Hai Duong, and Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh.
This year an unusually large number of foreigners and overseas Vietnamese are also set to come to the country during the period, the operators said.
Saigontourist expects to serve 46,000 foreign visitors during Tet, 43 per cent higher than last year.
Vietravel is eyeing a 30 per cent increase.