Many tourist companies are launching promotions or reducing the price of domestic tours by VND2-3 million (US$95-140), according to travel agencies.
The HCM City-based Saigontourist travel company has launched a promotion for domestic tours until the end of May.
Under the programme, prices have been reduced by 13-19 per cent for tours (by road) to Nha Trang – Hon Mun, Nha Trang – Suoi Hoa Lan and Da Lat; 30-38 per cent for tours (by air) to Phu Quoc Island, Ha Noi – Trang An Tourism Site – Ha Long, and Ha Noi – Ha Long – Sa Pa; and 9 per cent for two-day tours to Phan Thiet departing at weekend.
Many travel companies have co-operated with the local budget airline Vietjet Air to lower the price of package domestic tours to the northern region by 30-38 per cent.
Benthanhtourist travel company has reduced prices of domestic tours by VND2.2-2.7 million. The price of a six-day package tour to the northwest, eastern and western regions, which will depart from HCM City in March and April, is around VND9-11 million.
Fiditour travel company also has a promotion which will last until April 23, with prices of tours reduced up to VND800,000 for the central region and up to VND1.5 million for the northern region.
In addition, many customers who book domestics tours have a chance to win presents from travel agencies with total prizes of more than VND1 billion ($48,000), such as a Vespa LX 125 scooter, Ipad 2 and Iphone 4s, among others.
According to Doan Thi Thanh Tra, manager of the marketing department of Saigontourist, the prices of many domestic tours are reasonable.
Yet many foreign tours to destinations in the Southeast Asia region, including Thailand and Cambodia, are still very popular.
Despite the economic slowdown, the number of booked foreign tours has surged recently, including tours to Europe and the US, he said.
In the first two months of this year, more than 2,000 customers booked tours to Thailand at Saigontourist, an increase of 10 per cent over the same period last year.
At Vietravel, the number of customers that booked tours to Thailand in the first two months of this year reached 5,500, a rise of 15 per cent compared to the corresponding period of last year.
International destinations that saw a surge in booking include Malaysia, an increase of more than 100 per cent compared to last year; Malaysia and Singapore, 40 per cent; Cambodia, 43 per cent; South Korea and the US, 300 per cent; and Australia, 87 per cent.
The high prices of domestic tours have made it difficult for the local tourist industry to compete with the tourism industry of other countries.
According to travel businesses, there are three segments of tourists: inbound (international tourists), outbound (Vietnamese tourists visiting other countries) and domestic (Vietnamese tourists travelling within the country).
The inbound and domestic segments have brought the most profits for the country's economy.
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