Travel firms launching “economy tours” to attract more travelers

Published: 31/05/2011 05:00



The airfare and service fee increases plus the economic difficulties, have both led to the sharp fall in the number of travelers. A lot of travel firms in HCM City have decided to design “economy tours” with low costs in order to retain clients.

Short distance tours will be less costly than long distance ones

Travel firms all have reported the sharp decrease in the numbers of travelers. Though there were still many travelers booking tours for the April 30 holiday, the number of travelers was still far below the expected level. Especially, many clients just called travel firms and asked about tour fees, while they did not book tours.

The number of tourists registering tours for summer remains modest, though summer is the high tourism season. A director of a travel firm in District 1 in HCM City says, that the road tour fees have increased by 15-25 percent, while the same increases have also been applied to air tours. It is because the airfare has increased by 20 percent on average, while airfares make up 40 percent of the tour fee. Meanwhile, hotel room rates, meals and service fees all have also increased significantly.

A two-day tour to Phan Thiet now costs 970,000 dong, while a tour to Vung Tau 700,000 dong, and to Hue city – Quang Binh – Da Nang 5.2-5.7 million dong. If booking a tour to Hanoi for six days and 5 nights, travelers would have to pay 10 million dong.

In 2011, airlines do not offer cheap air tickets to travel firms, the thing that they did in 2010 to stimulate the demand. Besides this, it is really difficult to book air tickets now. Therefore, long distance tours do not have many clients.

Tran The Dung, Deputy Director of The He Tre Travel Firm, said that the tendency of cutting down spending now can be seen clearly in the tourism sector. Most travelers in HCM City choose short term 2-3 day tours to Phan Thiet, Ninh Chu and Vung Tau in order to save money. In previous summers, his travel firm received a lot of orders from companies and institutions which wanted to take long tours to Hue City or Hanoi. Meanwhile, the loyal clients have decided not to travel this year, or chosen short tours to Phan Thiet or Vung Tau.

Travelers would rather travel abroad

A director of a travel firm believes that in general, the number of travelers this summer does not decrease as sharply as people think. The travelers have simply chosen outbound tours instead of domestic tours.

People now tend to travel abroad because outbound tours’ fees are getting cheaper. Travelers only have to pay 200 dollars to travel to Cambodia, while a tour to Thailand would cost 350-380 dollars.

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai from Fiditourist said that in 2010, 70 percent of clients of Fiditourist booked domestic tours, while 30 percent booked outbound tours (70-30). Meanwhile, the proportions changed on Tet holiday to 60-40. It is expected that the number of travelers booking outbound tours would be even higher this summer.

Mai said that travel firms always have to struggle to stabilize domestic tour fees, because domestic service providers always increase fees on Tet days or long holidays. Also, travel firms in regional countries, which are always professional, do not increase tour fees and regularly offer preferences. For example, travelers to Thailand this summer may have the opportunity to attend the fruit festival. Besides, they can also attend a big performance show free of charge (the ticket for the program costs 30 dollars).

Travel firms try to save themselves

Since the number of travelers has decreased, many travel firms have decided to launch promotion programs to stimulate the demand. The firms have encouraged travelers to book tours soon in order to obtain cheap air tickets.

Especially, some travel firms have launched “economy tours” in order to help tourists save money. With the tours, travelers would depart on some fixed days, while the tour fees are very “reasonable”. However, travelers would only depart when there are enough travelers, while the tours would be delayed until travel firms can gather enough travelers.

Besides this, travel firms also try to “fasten their belt” by cutting down expenses, signing long term contracts with hotels in order to enjoy preferential hotel room rates, or using local tour guides.

Source: NLD

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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