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Expanding overseas the great Tet getaway

2010-01-21 (GMT + 7)

With overseas trips increasingly popular for Tet holidays, air carriers have announced that tickets are running out and as a result – fees are high.

Traditionally Vietnamese people do not leave their homes on the first day of the Lunar Year because it is a time to stay indoors and worship their ancestors. However, times are changing.
Mai Anh from Ben Thanh Tourism said that there have been cultural changes in the way people are celebrating Tet.
Instead of enjoying traditional foods and parties - a lot of families nowadays prefer traveling together instead and take their celebration overseas.
According to Nguyen Cong Hoan, deputy director of Hanoi Redtour, the many tours have been booked up for months.
Neighboring destinations, such as South East Asia, China, Hong Kong and South Korea, remain the top choice of the majority of Vietnamese travelers.
Saigontourist reports that it has 10,000 customers booking both domestic and outbound tours for Tet holidays. These include 4,000 traveling abroad, an increase of 31 percent over the same period of the last year.
Saigontourist says it has 97 percent of seats of outbound tours and 95 percent of domestic tours sold.

Airfare up, tour fee up
According to Tran Long, general director of Viet Travel, airfares for popular tours to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand has increased by 35-45 percent over ordinary days, which has led to a higher tour fee.
Hoan of Hanoi Redtour said that airfares for traveling to Thailand've increased to $120 and further to $160, while usual prices are $80.
The airfares to Hong Kong and Singapore have also seen similar increases. For example, the airfare for Hanoi-Hong Kong flight, which is normally between $120-140 has risen to $180 dollar, while the airfare to Singapore has increased by $40.
As the result, Mai Anh of Ben Thanh Tourism said, travel firms have had to raise tour fees. Travelers to Thailand will have to pay $420-430 for the trip at Tet, while the normal fee is just $260-270.
Air tickets for Hanoi-Macau flight on February 13, or the day just before the New Lunar New Year, have also run out.

(Source: Vietnamnet)

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