Some companies, who undertook recent fact-finding trips to Japan, will offer customers tour discounts of up to VND12 million as they try to win back some lost business.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based Samurai Tours has joined forces with All Nippon Airways and other Japanese tourism service providers to organized a recent trip to Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe for seven Vietnamese travel firms last week. Vietravel also organized an earlier scouting trip for its staff in Japan.
“Many Vietnamese travelers have canceled tours to Japan over radiation fears so we wanted to check the situation there. Now, we’ve decided to resume the tours after receiving full reports from Japanese tourism officials and partners,” said Nguyen Van Thanh, sales manager of Samurai Tours.
He expects the first trip to start on July 23, and Samurai will then hope to resume a normal service to the country.
Akito Tadokoro, director of regional sales for Asia Tourist Promotion Department of Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, confirmed that after a huge decline in foreign arrivals in Tokyo and the whole of Japan, the guests are coming back.
“Now, we can say Japan is safe for tourists and call on all travelers to come back. We are receiving good feedback from tourists and will have programs to encourage more people to travel,” he told the Daily in Tokyo.
Amano Takashi, director general manager of four hotels in Japan, said that because of the impact of the natural disasters, some hotels closed down, but now groups of tourists from Asia and individuals from Europe are coming back.
“We’ve received 10 groups of Asian tourists and some travel firms from Vietnam,” he said.
He said that his hotels are popular with Vietnamese tourists. At Jiragonno Fuji No Yakata hotel around 2,000 Vietnamese guests stayed there last year.
As part of their efforts to resume tours to Japan, Vietnam tour operators in conjunction with airlines and other partners have launched big promotion tours to attract Vietnamese tourists.
Thanh said Samurai Tours would sell a seven-day package to Japan for VND42 million compared to the normal price at VND54 million.
Saigontourist Travel Service Co., in cooperation with Vietnam Airlines and Japan Airlines, hoped to also discount tours to Japan by VND12 million. The company expects the first tour to start this month.
The World Tourism Organization said the current situation poses no risk to travelers going to and from Japan. It said United Nations organizations that are closely monitoring the effects of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants remain confident that radiation levels do not pose health or transportation safety hazards to passengers or crew.