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Vietnam travel firms step up tour sales via Internet

2011-09-06 (GMT + 7)

Since the beginning of the year, a series of Vietnam travel firms have announced that they have upgraded the remote payment system and that clients now can book tours on their official websites.

The Hoa Binh Travel Firm, for example, has developed the online tourism tour booking on peacetour.com.vn. The representative of the firm said that with the friendly interface, the online tour booking system allows clients to save their time, because clients can book tours even when they sit at home and click mouse to the firm’s website. Especially, Hoa Binh has also developed the system which allows travelers to foresee the destinations and book tours via mobile phones.

Vietravel has also been well known as the travel firm which has made heavy investment in developing online booking via its website. Vietravel firm has build up E-tour program with travel.com.vn website, which allows clients to survey the tours and prices, and get detailed information about the tours, including the departure time or schedules.

Most recently, Fiditour has become the pioneer in accepting payment through e-wallets and online payment portals. The clients in Vietnam and around the world can book tours on Fiditour’s website in different languages of Vietnamese, English, French or Japanese.

Travelers can make payment through nganluong.vn with domestic credit cards, while travelers in other countries or the ones using international credit cards can make payment via Paypal.com. Especially, in case clients cancel tours, they still can get money refunded.

Besides travel firms, tourism sites’ developers, resorts and hotels have also pushed up the online marketing and payment.

Do Tuan Hung Manh, Managing Director of Mom Da Chim Resort, which has launched an online marketing campaign, said that online channels can help enterprises attract a lot of travelers. In the low season, where there are not many travelers, travel firms still can attract travelers who can fill in the idle rooms in the resort. Online channels also can help popularize tourism brands; especially, they prove to be very useful for the less well known brands, because they are not too costly while the efficiency is high.

Nguyen Hoa Binh, General Director of PeaceSoft, which has inked an agreement with the international payment portal Paypal, believes that online payment services in tourism will certainly develop well in the current difficult circumstances. As travelers have to tighten their belt, they have to think carefully when choosing tours and destinations. Therefore, the travel firms which have good websites and good payment system would have advantages in attracting clients.

According to Google, 98 percent of the clients who purchase tourism products in Vietnam, search information online before they book tours, with 5-7 million visitors to the tourism websites recorded for every month.

Also according to Binh, 80 percent of domestic travelers set up their tourism plans via Internet. Before going traveling, they tend to search information about the destinations, and try to find out which hotels offer the most reasonable hotel room rates and other kinds of information.

It is expected that online payment would bring over 50 percent of turnover of travel firms. Binh went on to say that remote sale surely can help travel firms reduce the cost prices.

Nguyen Ngoc Dung, Chief Representative of the Southern Office of the Vietnam E-commerce Association, said that more and more travel firms have cooperated with e-wallet service providers to develop tourism.

However, it is still early to say about online tour booking as the most important channel for tourism development in the future, because Vietnamese travelers still fear that they cannot be served as advertised, while travel firms fear about “virtual tour bookings”.

Source: VNA

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