Although there is a month to go until the 2021 Reunification Day (April 30) and Labor Day (May 1) holidays, domestic tours are now selling like hotcakes.

Signs of recovery

Dong Pagoda in Yen Tu mountain, Quang Ninh province. Photo: Legacy Yen Tu – MGallery

According to Vietnamese holiday makers and major tour operators, the number of bookings for domestic tours has increased dramatically in recent days.

The long vacation, which will last for four consecutive days, from Friday, 30 April until Monday, May 3 this year, seems to be a good chance for travel agencies to gear-up their businesses after a quite long time of ‘hibernation period’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

A representative from Vietravel Hanoi said that the tour operator plans to cater to 15,000 visitors to some renown travel destinations throughout the country such as Sapa Town in northern Lao Cai province, Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh province, Phu Quoc Island – Kien Giang province, Con Dao Island in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, the coastal city of Da Nang, Quy Nhon city in Binh Dinh province and Buon Me Thuot – the capital city of Dak Lak province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. 

Photo: The Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Nha Trang

“As of March 22, the percentage of visitors who book tour with Vietravel has reached about 50% of the plan. In addition to offering the good price, the company will take various strict safety measures to protect clients against the pandemic amidst the peak season of tourism,”, said Pham Van Bay – Deputy Director of Vietravel Hanoi.

As informed by Phung Quang Thang, director of Hanoitourist Travel, the company’s hotline number was extremely busy last weekend as lots of customers called for booking tours. The numbers of successful online bookings were also in great quantities.

“The tours booked during last weekend increased around 50% as compared to the weekdays. It is such a good sign for a fruitful domestic tourism season is waiting ahead. The tour booking percentage is much higher than it was in the same period last year, and we will prepare to well adapt with the increasing demands of 2021 tourism season,” he said. 

Photo: Flamingo Dai Lai Resort- Flamingo Group

According to the statistic given by the representative from Flamingo Redtours- Flamingo group, there were 4,000 successful bookings amongst about 10,000 calls asking for tour information recently. It is expected that in the upcoming four-day-vacation, Flamingo’s hotels and resort will serve up to 10,000 visitors.

The promotional race 

For many tourism businesses, surviving the Covid-19 pandemic would be such a ‘miracle’. In the context that international tourism has been closed since early 2020, domestic tourism is a ‘lifebuoy’ rescuing the whole industry from the havoc wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As such, stimulating the travel demand within Vietnam is considered as a solution for the national tourism sector. Travel agencies have to launch various promotional packages enticing people to travel.

Photo: InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort 

Vietravel has introduced a luxury resort package at a very affordable price, only from VND1,690,000(US$74) per person. The price includes a round-trip airfare, a two-night stay at the 4 or 5 star-hotels in tourism destinations in Danang, Vung Tau, Mui Ne and Ho Chi Minh City.

The prices for similar packages at afar coastal cities such as Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and Quy Nhon are also very affordable, just starting from VND2,490,000 (or $108) per person.

It can be seen a sharp decline on accommodation price at the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Nha Trang resort- the so-called an oasis of ‘elite travelers’ in central coastal region. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, a night stay at this marvelous luxury resort cost thousands of dollars, the today price is only VND7 million or $300. 

The Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi. Photo: Thuy Nguyen

A series of other 5-star hotels in famous tourist destinations have announced the sharpest decrease in room occupancy rates ever.

Along with tourism businesses, localities also ‘forcefully’ stimulate tourism demand by reducing ticket prices to historical sites and beautiful landscapes in the regions.

Typically, Quang Ninh applies a tourism stimulus package that lasts for the whole year 2021, including exemption or reduction of entrance fees to attractions such as Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh museum, Yen Tu relic; free shuttle bus to and from Van Don International Airport, among other promotions.

Danang plans to launch the ‘Danang By Night’ tourism program on April 30 with various activities such as: artistic lighting performance on the Han River and at some high-rise buildings in the city, as well as street art festivals.

Cua Bac Church, Hanoi. Photo: Viem Nguyen 

Meanwhile, the Hanoi Department of Tourism will coordinate with travel agencies and relevant organizations to promote the city’s tourism in the coming time, according to Ms. Dang Thi Huong Giang, Director of the department.

At the moment, the department and the Hanoi Promotion Agency are working together on The Hanoi Tourism Stimulating Festival 2021 themed ‘Hanoians travel in Hanoi’, to be held between April 16 and 18, with the aim of introducing travelers to tourism products, combined packages and accommodations in Hanoi.

With these great efforts and ‘joining-hand’ of tour operators and localities in stimulating tourism, insiders expect the important sector of Vietnamese economy may stand firm through the pandemic.