Mixed fortunes for holiday break tourism

May 07, 2024 | 09:00
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While overland domestic tourism performed well during the April 30-May 1 holiday, traditional Vietnamese beach resorts saw relatively low numbers as more people flocked abroad.

A significant number of domestic travellers chose overland tour packages during the holiday period to avoid high airfare prices.

Tourists primarily travelled by road from the southern provinces to destinations such as Phan Thiet, Phu Quy, Nha Trang, Dalat, and Vung Tau to save on transportation costs.

Mixed fortunes for holiday break tourism
Mixed fortunes for holiday break tourism

Room rates exceeded 90 per cent across large parts of the country during the holiday weekend, particularly in Cat Ba, Ninh Binh, Nha Trang, and Danang, according to hotel booking platform Mustgo.

Despite those figures, many renowned beach tourism destinations experienced a decline in tourist numbers.

In Quy Nhon, domestic tourist numbers decreased due to the impact of flight tickets, resulting in low room occupancy. The 3-star hotel segment had a relatively low room occupancy rate of around 50 per cent, while the 4- and 5-star hotel segment had approximately 30 per cent occupancy.

In Phu Quoc, the room occupancy during the holiday period was at an average level. The larger resorts had a room occupancy rate of only 15-20 per cent. However, the beachfront villas had a more optimistic situation, with occupancy rates ranging from 70-80 per cent.

Con Dao also experienced a lack of tourists, with 5-star hotels in Con Dao having many vacant rooms, with an occupancy rate of less than half during the five-day holiday. Smaller hotels had a higher booking rate, reaching around 70-80 per cent from April 27 to 29. Currently, Con Dao only has one operating airline, and one-way flight tickets from Hanoi on April 27 were priced at over $330 per passenger.

Internationally, Japan, South Korea, and China remained popular destinations, with a higher growth rate in tour bookings compared to last year.

According to Booking.com, among the international destinations with the most bookings by Vietnamese guests from April 26 to May 1, Japan, South Korea and China were all in the top 10.

According to Tran Thi Bao Thu, communications director of Vietluxtour, the company served approximately 30 tour groups per day, which is equivalent to 900 tourists per day travelling to Northeast Asia during the holiday.

“The increase in domestic airfare prices, leading to an increase in the prices of domestic tours, is the reason why 60-70 per cent of Vietluxtour’s customers have switched to international tours,” she said.

According to Nguyen Huu Cuong, CEO of Trang An Travel, Vietnamese customers booking tours to China, Japan, and South Korea for the departure date of April 30 have increased by approximately 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

This percentage has increased by over 15 per cent compared to the Lunar New Year holiday. One week before the holiday period, tours to Northeast Asia offered by Trang An Travel were already fully booked. Tours to South Korea, Japan, and China by air have been fully booked since the beginning of April, and the overland tour to China has also been fully booked since mid-month.

According to Yoshida Kenji, head of the Japan National Tourism Organization representative office in Vietnam, the number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Japan this year has increased compared to 2023, thanks to the addition of more charter flights connecting Vietnam with Japanese provinces such as Kagoshima, Kagawa, and Fukushima.

On average, a five-day four-night tour to South Korea during the holiday period had a price starting from $575. A six-day five-night tour to Japan starts from $1,300. The price range for tours to China varies, ranging from around $200 to over $800, depending on the different products and transport methods available, including both overland and air travel options.

In addition, tours to Europe and traditional destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia were also popular choices for Vietnamese travellers during the holiday. According to the Vietnam International Travel Mart, domestic tour packages account for 25 per cent of the revenue, while tours to China make up 35 per cent, and markets such as Japan, Europe, and the United States contribute 40 per cent.

According to the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism, the number of international tourists visiting Vietnam reached nearly 1.6 million in April, equivalent to the number of tourists in March and a 58.2 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. The majority arrived via air.

Overall, in the first four months of the year, the number of international tourists hit 6.2 million, a 68.3 per cent rise compared to the same period last year and a 3.9 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2019.

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By Thai An

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