Tet tourist season this year has been unusual as sea and island tours to the central region have been sold out while annually crowded tours to Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia have fallen in unsold condition despite of big discounts.
|Visitors book tickets at TST Tourist Company (Photo: SGGP)|
Unlike expectations for the tourist season this year, several small tourist companies have been forced to resell air tickets to neighboring countries, accepting losses. They had booked too many tickets to Thailand and Singapore and now are announcing big discounts. Small tourist companies even offered a lot of HCMC-Singapore air tickets on February 15 at the price of only VND3 million (US$141) each.
Similar conditions have also occurred at a number of big companies. It has never been like this year as people can easily book tours on the 28th day of the 12th lunar month. Last-minute tours have been noisily advertised online, via SMS and email. The prices have been more and more lowered since February 14.
A big tourist company in HCMC priced a four-day tour to Singapore departing on the third or fourth day of the lunar New Year at VND12-15 million a person for those customers who booked tickets two weeks in advance.
However, at many companies, the price has dropped to VND9-10 million since February 14 and VND7.84 million two days later.
Similarly five day tours to Thailand were priced VND10 million (US$470) if they were booked two weeks ago. Now it has fallen to VND6 million to depart on the final day of the lunar year and VND7 million to set off on the fifth day of the New Year. Bus tours to Cambodia dropped to VND2.99 million yesterday.
Meantime, air tours to the central region, Phu Quoc Island and Da Lat city have been sold out since February 13 with the prices double over normal to reach VND10-11 million a person on some routes. Up to three airliners have launched their services to Phu Quoc Island but still fail to meet demand in Tet holidays.