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Sky-high airfares lead to low hotel occupancy in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa

Sky-high airfares lead to low hotel occupancy in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa

Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 16:34 GMT+7
Sky-high airfares lead to low hotel occupancy in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa
A photo shows passengers buying tickets and conducting check-in procedures at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, April 24, 2023. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre

Khanh Hoa Province in south-central Vietnam is seeing a lower-than-expected room occupancy rate for the upcoming public holiday celebrating the Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) due to high airfares. 

Tran Minh Duc, deputy director of Long Phu Tourist JSC and chairman of the Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa Tourism Association, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that air ticket prices have been revised down from those in late March and early April following a spike in flights to the province and other localities to serve the travel demand during the holiday.

However, airfares on the routes from Hanoi and Hai Phong City to Khanh Hoa Province are still high, ranging from VND2.5 million to VND4.5 million (US$107.3-193) per ticket.

A tour to Nha Trang City, a famous beach city in Khanh Hoa Province, will cost tourists dear due to high airfares, plus accommodation, catering and entertainment expenses. 

As such, most travelers will opt to take an outbound tour to other destinations such as Thailand rather than travel to a domestic tourist site, Duc said.

The increased flights and lowered airfares at the approach of the national holiday will mainly benefit those who both visit their relatives and take a trip, he said, explaining that tourists in groups or solo travelers planned their tours and bought air tickets in advance.

Meanwhile, travel firms have already closed their full-package tours.

“Tour operators only sell tours, while their customers book air tickets, making the price of tours stable. However, the prices of air tickets were reduced at the approach of the holiday, causing a comparison with the previous airfares,” Duc said.

“Accordingly, tourists will buy air tickets a few days before the holiday instead of booking tickets soon,” he noticed.

Lowered airfares will not help Nha Trang City’s tourism boom during the holiday, as many hotel rooms there are empty and it is hard to fill all of them, said Nguyen Phi Hong Nguyen, business director of Viet Promotion Service and Travel Company and vice chairman of the Khanh Hoa Travel Association.

Most tourists joining tours arranged by travel firms in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong Province and Hanoi planned trips and booked air tickets soon.

“However, when they booked air tickets, the prices were sky-high, prompting most of them to postpone a trip to Khanh Hoa Province and book bus services to Ho Chi Minh City’s neighboring localities such as Vung Tau and Binh Thuan,” he said.

Ticket agents blame airlines

D.T.B.Tr., owner of an air ticket agent in Nha Trang City, said that airlines did not lower airfares or offer discounts at the approach of the holiday.

In fact, their added flights launched more tickets with different prices.

In early April, the prices of air tickets remained high, while ticket agents received many tickets to sell them to customers.

However, at the approach of the holiday, air carriers increased domestic flights, leading to airfares falling, she said, adding that agents had to lower the prices of air tickets they covered previously. 

“In addition, many groups of tourists canceled their trips, resulting in airfares dipping by up to 40 percent,” Tr. said.

She blamed airlines for the problem, saying that air carriers should have kept air ticket prices stable after increasing flights.

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Tieu Bac - Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre News

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