Vietnam: Low season comes, service fees increase, travel firms worried
Director of Hanoitourist Luu Duc Ke said maintaining the current low tour fees alone requires a lot of exertions of travel firms in the context of sharp input cost increases.
The prices of all essential goods, from gas to electricity and fuel, have increased sharply, which has put a harder pressure on service providers.
?If transport firms, accommodation service providers and restaurants all are resigned to maintaining the current prices, accepting lower profits, we would succeed in attracting more tourists,? Ke said.
?However, if the service providers do not accept the low profits and break the commitments, raising the service fees, travel firms would suffer heavily,? he added.
Travel firms now put high hopes on the upcoming Independent Day September 2 holiday, the last opportunity for them before the market enters the low tourism season.
Most of the travel firms have not announced new sale promotion programs for the low season. Only a few of them have launched new promotion campaigns to draw the travelers? attention.
Vietravel has launched a new program, calling on to book tours sooner to enjoy lower prices. Ben Thanh Tourist offers the ?super money-saving? standard tours.
A senior executive of Ben Thanh Tourist said the firm has its own hotel, resort chain, which makes it not difficult for the firm to maintain the low prices to lure more travelers. However, it?s still necessary to design the tours with attractive activities and itineraries to persuade people to spend money on tours in the low season.
Analysts have noted that small and medium travel firms tend to develop the trekking tours which have ?reasonable? tour fees to attract the young travelers who want to make discoveries and save money.
The travel firms, including Vietrantour, Hanoi Redtours, still maintain the current preferences. Meanwhile, the firms which have begun developing the tours to the Northeast and Northwest, have launched noisy promotion campaigns.
Trai Tim Viet, for example, has launched the low cost 4-day tour to Ha Giang province at just VND2.75 million per traveler applied to groups of travelers, and VND3.2 million for separated travelers.
In general, the tours designed for the low season have the very slight tour fee decreases of 5-7 percent in comparison with the tours launched earlier this summer.
Ke of Hanoitourism said the slight increases are reasonable which ensure the sustainable development. If travel firms cut down the fees more sharply, this would affect the tour quality.
Local authorities have joined forces with travel firms to launch sale promotion programs for the low season.
The Da Nang City authorities informed that 100 local enterprises have responded to the city?s call to cut down service fees in the season, from September 1 to December 31.
Thua Thien ? Hue, the neighboring province, has also launched a new sale promotion program, but it would be running in September only. However, though the program lasts only one month, it still has been highly appreciated by travel firms. Under the program, travelers would enjoy hotel room rate reductions, free services, more excursion points and cultural service fee exemptions.