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Vietnam travel firms regret late Tet holiday announcement

2011-01-15 (GMT + 7)

Vietnam travel operators in HCMC have said they have missed a great business chance for launching more tours for the Lunar New Year (Tet) as the long holiday schedule was announced a little bit so late.

The Government has formally announced that the Tet holiday will last from January 31 to February 7, meaning all civil servants and State workers will have eight days off. That prompts people to rush to buy tours, but many Vietnam travel company have closed their programs and they could not arrange air tickets, visas, accommodation and related services for more guests.
Companies like Fiditourist, Perfect Tour Travel Co., Viettours Trading and Services Co., Saigontourist Travel Service Co., and some others have reported an increasing number of enquiries for outbound and domestic tours these days.

Nguyen The Khai, director of Perfect Tour Travel Co., told the Daily on Wednesday that the company had stopped selling Tet tours on January 1 but many customers have been asking for the tours after that day because of the long holiday. However, the company cannot sell more tours due to the lack of services like air tickets, hotels, and restaurants, all of which need some months for arrangement.
Perfect Tour has prepared services for just 2,500 tourist travel to Vietnam on Tet, doubling the number compared to last Tet.
“Around 20 to 30 people are asking for Tet tours everyday but our hands are tied. We would have done better business if the Government had announced the holiday schedule earlier,” he said.

At Fiditourist, the company has prepared services for around 20,000 outbound and domestic travelers on Tet, up 20% compared to last year. Many customers have been asking for Tet tours in recent days but the company has not received deposits because it needs more time to arrange services for the new customers.
“The number of visitors is increasing beyond expectation. We are asking for more air tickets but it is very difficult. We cannot manage this because of the limited time,” said Dang Trung Nghia, deputy general director of Fiditourist.
Currently, the company cannot buy air tickets for outbound tourists while both air tickets and hotels for domestic tours are also very scarce, he explained. Fiditourist said only overland tours to Nha Trang and the North are still available but travelers do not want to go the region due to the cold weather there.
Luu Dinh Phuc, director of Viettours Trading and Services Company, said tour operators could have sold more tours if the Government had announced the Tet holiday schedule six months in advance.

“We see the good business chance for Vietnam travel on this Tet but cannot do anything,” he said.
Saigontourist Travel Service Co. also regrets the tardy announcement but the company has added 50 tours for Tet and sold tours to eight more groups to date.
As of Wednesday, Saigontourist had 15,000 tourists who had placed deposits for outbound and domestic tours during Tet, excluding those who have made registrations only.

Source: SGT

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