Airlines cooperate with Vietnam travel agents, tour prices down fall
TransViet cooperates with Pacific Airlines to operate the Saigon-Yen Tu tour, while Vietnam Airlines works with Hanoi Tourist to conceive the Vietnam Australia tour. This cooperation has helped to cut tour prices.
According to Mr. Nguyen Tien Dat, TransViet Business Manager, prices for the tour from Saigon to Yen Tu and the tour Exploring the Southern Hub have seen a discount of VND500,000 as Pacific Airlines (PA) has given TransViet’s customers discounts following a cooperation agreement by both sides.
Moreover, the airline has also worked with TransViet on a marketing plan for the whole country. This would be impossible for TransViet if they had to do it alone.
In cooperation with Vietnam Tourism Company, Pacific Airlines (PA) is offering a three days and two nights tour from Hanoi to Hoi An at a price of only VND2.2mil. The air ticket alone from Hanoi to Da Nang is already as high as VND1.6mil. Tourists can therefore save at least VND700,000 for each person.
Similarly, the cooperation between Vietnam Airlines (VNA) and Hanoi Tourist has seen a cut of US$70 in the price of an eight-day tour from Vietnam to Australia, which now only costs US$1,800 for one person.
Cooperation between domestic airlines and travel agents is being seen as a new trend in Vietnam as previously only foreign airlines have worked closely with travel agents in providing tours to travelers.
According to Mr. Ta Huu Thanh, Vice Director of PA’s Northern Branch, the Corporation started this tour in the hope of attracting more customers through the travel agents’ channels.
This kind of cooperation has not yet seen a rapid expansion as all airlines have set high criteria for travel agents wishing to cooperate in this manner.
PA only chooses travel agents that are prestigious companies with a high and stable number of customers. Thanh said PA has to select its partners carefully to prevent them from taking advantage the cheaper prices for air tickets to develop their businesses, thereby creating unfair competition in the market.
Under its cooperation programme, PA has so far chosen only two partners to pilot its new project. If this works well then the Corporation will expand the scheme.
Despite this, travel agents have complained that domestic airlines’ policies on this kind of cooperation are too inflexible.
Nguyen Thi Huyen, Head of Outbound Tours of Vietstran Tour highlighted the contrast with foreign airlines, who usually make it easier for travel agents to make ticket reservations, cancel bookings or change booking details. Besides giving discounts, foreign airlines also offer support in obtaining visas, and cost sharing for marketing work.
According to Huyen, her company currently has a contract with Singapore Airlines to offer tours to Russia at a reasonable price, which is discounted by US$500.
Huyen also said that when Vietstran worked with VNA to launch a tour to Disneyland (Hong Kong), all marketing work had to be done by the travel agent and there was no support on visa procedures from the airline.
Moreover, the agent was still fined by VNA if changes were made, or mistakes in booking were found.
The airline also asked Vietstran to confirmed bookings for customers one month in advance, which according to Huyen is very difficult for travel agents.
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