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Local firms work on Vietnam-Laos-Thailand tours

2009-09-29 (GMT + 7)

Representatives of some 60 domestic tour operators are inspecting destinations in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand for a familiarization trip arranged by Vitours Company Limited and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in preparation for new overland tours.

Cao Tri Dung, director of Vitours Company Limited, told the Daily on the phone on Monday that the FAM trip would take in tourist sites in the Central Highlands and other central parts of Vietnam, southern Laos and northeastern Thailand.

TAT will be responsible for the Thailand leg of the familiarization trip as well as for helping Vietnamese tour operators find their partners during the journey which is scheduled to wrap up on September 24.

Dung said almost all the participating tour operators were based in HCMC and Hanoi, and that they would work with Vitours after the trip to develop new package overland tours for sale to travelers, especially locals in the cities and other parts of Vietnam from October this year.

Dung estimated the new tours would last seven to eight days, and their prices would range from US$200 to US$250 per person. “These prices are reasonable in the current difficult situation and some 50% lower than existing tours covering destinations in the three countries.”

Dung explained the itineraries of the new tours were not as long as the existing ones. He clarified the price of new tours did not include the domestic airfares of those travelers choosing to fly between Hanoi or HCMC and Danang, where the new tours begin.

Dung said the new tours were aimed at attracting not only those departing from central Vietnam but also Thai people who wanted to explore the destinations in Laos and Vietnam. Dung added these tours would probably cover some places of interest in Cambodia.

Dung said over the past years more Thai people booked tours taking in the tourist spots in Indochina than those from Vietnam for seminar tours. But, he did not unveil the exact figures.

Vietnam is emerging as a destination for Thai travelers, according to TAT’s office in HCMC. Around 180,000 Thai people traveled to Vietnam last year, 20,000 higher than in the previous year, and a large number entered Vietnam through the central entrances.

* Vitours Company Limited has announced a full load for a Vietnam Airlines airplane the company is chartering to carry guests between Danang and Hong Kong on September 30 and October 4.

Vitours director Cao Tri Dung said the company had attracted enough guests for the national flag air carrier’s 184-seat Airbus A321. These passengers have booked a five-day package tour to Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and Macau.

Dung said the charter flight would leave Danang with the local travelers aboard to Hong Kong. On the return flight from Hong Kong, the plane will transport guests including 150 athletes from European and Asian countries and territories.

These athletes will travel to Danang on September 30 with the arrangement by Hong Kong’s Action Asia Events to participate in an international terrain marathon set to kick off in Quang Nam province around the date.

Dung said the charter flight would bring the athletes back to Hong Kong on October 4 and then the Vietnamese travelers home on the same day.

VietNamNet/SGT

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