Tourism, passenger transport facing slackness even in national holiday

Many travel agencies, airlines said that the number of people booking tours on Independence Day is rather low. Other passenger transport companies for fixed routes report a similar quietness.
Vietluxtour is holding an entertainment activity for its customers in Hoi An City (Quang Nam Province) at the beginning of August 2023 (Photo: SGGP)

Vietluxtour is holding an entertainment activity for its customers in Hoi An City (Quang Nam Province) at the beginning of August 2023 (Photo: SGGP)

Marketing Director Tran Thi Bao Thu of Vietluxtour shared that as most families have just spent their summer vacation, they are not so keen on the holiday on September 2. Adding to that is the financial challenge in some families and the potential risk of landslide in certain tourist attractions in the Central Highlands, the Northeast and Northwest region.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam yesterday informed that airplane tickets are still available for both main and tourism routes, and passengers can easily book them online. The price is not much different from that in the summer peak. For instance, the round-trip prices of the Hanoi – HCMC and Hanoi – Da Lat City routes on September 1 are VND3.3 million (US$139) and VND3.2 million ($134) respectively. The route from HCMC to Phu Quoc City has flights all day, with the one-way price from VND900,000 – 1.2 million a ticket ($38 – 50).

It is estimated that the total flight number during this peak from August 31 to September 5 is 5.300, with over 1 million seats available. This is a rise of 20 percent compared to the normal time, but a drop of 3 percent compared to this time last year. The occupancy rate is rather low, at around 25-40 percent only.

A similar quiet state can be seen in companies of other passenger transport types. The price of hiring a vehicle for private trips does not increase since there are still many available vehicles. Not many passengers book a coach ticket, as reported by both the West and East Coach Stations.

More seriously, according to many transport enterprises in inter-provincial coach stations, the software managed by functional agencies to issue fixed-route badges for passenger vehicles only offer badges for routes using national highways, not expressways. Therefore, when a fixed-route passenger vehicle travels on an expressway, it can be heavily fined for using the wrong way.

There are now 800km of expressway nationwide, passing several provinces and tourist cities. To ensure fairness for transport companies, the Transport Ministry should urgently update the system of operating expressways to the fixed routes. In case the task cannot be fulfilled this upcoming Independence Day, functional agencies are proposed to temporarily halt the punishment of fixed-route vehicles moving on expressways.

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