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Travel firms more optimistic about domestic tours

The worry about the gloomy domestic travel market in 2012 has been lifted. Travel firms now can sigh with relief, hoping to attract many travelers this summer season thanks to the hotel room rate and airfare decreases.

Struggling in economic downturn

More than two months ago, the pressure on Deputy Director of Hanoi Redtours Nguyen Cong Hoan was so hard that he regularly had to wander around Hoan Kiem lakeside to ease stress.

However, Hoan now feels inspired, showing off the new tours designed by his firm, with which travelers can fly to the central region with P-class (under the tourism promotion program) air tickets of Vietnam Airlines and Viet Jet Air to have nice holidays on the beaches. Passengers would have big choices about the departure time, because tours organized regularly weekly. Especially, the tours to the central region are cheaper than the tours to Thailand.

Earlier this year, when asked about the business performance in 2012, Hoan said he just hoped that the number of Vietnamese tourists this year would not decrease in comparison with the last year. However, the number of booked tours on domestic routes has increased by two folds over the last period of the last year.

Not only travel firms, but other involved service providers understand that they need to “slash tour fees or die.” Therefore, the involved parties have many times sit together to discuss the measures to stimulate the demand.

Du Lich Viet has launched a series of tours departing from HCM City with the fee discounts of 10-40 percent.

Besides the 10 preferential tours to the central and southern regions by air, expected to depart in June and July, the Hanoi Branch of Du Lich Viet has also offered 7 weekend tours to the north and the north of the central region by road.

Du Lich Viet’s Tran Van Long said he is optimistic about the success of the new series of tours which provide the same high quality services at lower prices. By late last week, Du Lich Viet had sold 60 percent of the number of seats of the tours designed for separated travelers with the departure in HCM City in June.

The tour organizer has admitted that making fat profit is not the top priority task for now. “We accept lower profits to retain travelers,” Long said.

Rivaling to survive

Luong Duy Doanh, Deputy Director of Ngoi Sao Moi travel firm in Hanoi, said the number of travelers in May increased sharply, but the profit the firm obtains from every traveler decreased.

“There is a very stiff competition among travel firms. Clients always consider the price quotations of many travel firms before making decision. They also try to haggle hard and long,” Doanh said.

Few travel firms have admitted that their business has scaled down in the economic downturn. However, Hoan has pointed out that it’s easy to find the information about travel firms’ performance.

In previous years, the ad pieces about domestic tours appeared in late May. Each of the ad pieces, posted on print newspapers by some 4-5 small and medium travel firms, covered the area equal to 3-4 boxes of matches. However, nowadays, one can see the ad pieces of 3-4 “big guys” only.

However, Giang from the Hanoi branch of Du Lich Viet, has complained that it is too risky in selling promotional tours, because travel firms have to follow the strict requirements set up by airlines. Travel firms can change the fly schedule for unsold Vietjet Air’s tickets, but they have to pay additional fees, while they cannot raise the tour fees.

Ngoc Ha

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