Travel firms downbeat about business on upcoming holidays

Local travel companies are looking to modest growth in tour bookings during the upcoming holidays of Hung Kings’ death anniversary, Reunification Day, and International Labour Day from late April till early May.

Travel firms agreed that predicting the buying power for the upcoming holidays is not easy but they projected the number of guests booking their tours would pick up at least 10% as people spent much on their trips during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, which ended in the last week of February.

Therefore, many of them will not be able to travel again although they have six days off during the upcoming holidays.

Phan Dinh Hue, director of Viet Circle Travel and Service Company, told the Daily that the number of tourists is forecast to rise by a maximum of 15% on the same period last year.

“Demand for travel will not grow strongly after the long holiday on the occasion of the Lunar New Year,” Hue said.

Other firms like The He Tre Travel have the same view. Tran The Dung, deputy director of The He Tre Travel, said as it is not easy to find hotel rooms with good prices in tourist hot spots like Nha Trang, Danang and Phu Quoc, the company targeted to attract around 1,600 tourists during the holidays, up 10% against last year.

“In many tourist areas, the hotel room rates and service fees are too high,” Dung complained. 

Travel firms bemoaned that it is difficult to book enough rooms in beach towns like Nha Trang, Danang, Phan Thiet and Phu Quoc. In Danang, though the city government permits a maximum room rate increase of 50% during the Danang International Fireworks Competition 2015 on April 28-29, travel firms will have to spend nearly VND800,000 per night for a three-star room, double the rate on normal days.

Big travel companies with preparations in advance can attract more guests during the coming holidays. Saigontourist Travel Service Company expects a 19% pickup in tour bookings as it booked hotel rooms and air-tickets one year ago and thus enjoyed good prices.

Doan Thi Thanh Tra, marketing and communications manager at Saigontourist, told the Daily that its tours to Danang, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang including flights have been sold out.

According to travel firms, most of the tours for the coming holidays will last three to five days, and tours bound for coastal destinations are still favored.

Bookings for outbound tours fare better. Many travel firms reported increases of over 15% in bookings for overseas tours, with growth at Saigontourist estimated at 30%. Like previous holidays, tours to regional countries are selling well.