Thursday, 04/04/2024 07:06

Tourism agencies to diversify transportation to boost sales

Many travel agencies pivot to develop new tour routes focusing on high-quality bus tours for short distances while combining air travel with trains and buses. Photo

HCM CITY — Tourism businesses are promoting products and services to connect with various modes of transportation, from cars and trains to airplanes.

This new direction is being promoted in domestic tourism to increase competitiveness by reducing dependence on air travel.

The price of air tickets is predicted to remain high due to the shortage of airplanes in the aviation industry.

Focus on HCM City and Hà Nội

Phạm Quý Huy, Director of Kiwi Travel Company, stated that he recently checked for flights between HCM City and Hà Nội in early June 2024, and the prices are still very high, around VNĐ5.5 million per round trip.

With these high airfare prices, it is difficult to lower domestic tour prices to stimulate domestic demand during the summer.

Even during the current off-peak season of domestic tourism, airfares remain high, making it challenging to offer discounted rates to travel companies and passengers as before.

Therefore, instead of focusing on promoting tourism as before and boosting connections between HCM City and provinces, travel agencies are now doing the opposite, trying every means to attract visitors to the city.

"We have just launched products to stimulate tourism to HCM City using double-decker buses or river bus city tours to distinctive destinations with prices starting from VNĐ299,000 per person, instead of the usual package tour prices of VNĐ799,000 per person.

The city tour programs can be combined with medical tourism, culinary tourism, or two-to-three-day tours to explore Cần Giờ, Củ Chi, and Tây Ninh.

"Directing visitors to HCM City will divert flight routes, reduce high airfare costs, and provide more options," Huy said.

According to Nguyễn Thị Khánh, Chairwoman of the HCM City Tourism Association, domestic tourism is facing competition in terms of prices, product quality, and services.

To cope with the increasing airfare prices, companies are pivoting to develop new tour routes focusing on high-quality bus tours for short distances while combining air travel with trains and buses.

Many flexible companies are boosting short-distance tours from HCM City to destinations in the Southeast such as Tây Ninh or provinces in the Mekong Delta, and to Phan Thiết, Nha Trang, and Phú Yên.

Along with buses, tours also combine train travel, air travel, or vice versa, providing more options and cost reductions for tourists.

The association is collaborating with localities such as Tây Ninh, Bình Dương, and Đồng Nai to create more attractive road tours for tourists, Khánh said.

Changing the habit of booking "last-minute" tours

According to Lê Trương Hiền Hoà, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Tourism, the city's tourism industry has been working with airlines and aviation management agencies to spread information and propose timely solutions to support companies in the industry.

The high airfare prices are related to the aviation industry's difficulties due to a shortage of airplanes, so some possible solutions include increasing flight frequencies and adding night flights.

For tourism companies, diversifying transportation and not entirely relying on airplanes is encouraged by local authorities.

Nguyễn Minh Mẫn, director of Communications and Marketing at TSTtourist Company, believes that developing and diversifying transportation types in Việt Nam is necessary, to ensure convenient, smooth connections, shorter travel time, and better tourist experiences.

The completion and operation of a series of North-South expressways will also "redefine" domestic tourism.

Not only will the cost of package tours decrease, but this solution also creates attractiveness for tourists' itineraries by connecting road travel and train travel, which is a favorite transportation mode for tourists to enjoy the scenery during long journeys through various terrains including plains, plateaus, and seas.

"If airfare prices rise, besides financial capacity, tourists will have to find budget-friendly travel options. In this case, road tours with shorter distances and tours by train are quite interesting choices because they solve many problems at once, not just because of high airfare prices but also due to tourist travel trends," Mẫn emphasized.

Travel companies recommend tourists change the habit of booking "last-minute" tours for domestic travel because the closer to the departure time, the higher the airfare prices.

Phạm Anh Vũ, director of Communications at Việt Travel Company, said that if customers change their habits to book tours two to three months in advance, book as a family or group of friends, or reserve in advance, they will get significantly lower prices.

"Travel companies are willing to reduce profits to maintain reasonable tour prices and stimulate demand, but the long-term issue is perhaps tourists should also change the habit of buying spontaneous tours in the current situation," Vũ added. — VNS

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