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The HCM City Tourism Association (HTA) and the national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines has reached an agreement about the cooperation to ease the tour fees in a program to stimulate the demand.
Vietnam Airlines has offered the 40 percent airfare discount for groups of passengers flying from HCM City to Hanoi, Da Nang, Phu Quoc and Da Lat… in the period from April to December 2012. In order to receive the preferential air tickets, travel firms have to slash the tour fee by 30 percent at least.
Tour fee reductions surprise travelers
Ngoc Yen, a housewife in Hanoi, said on Cong An Nhan Dan that she was so surprised when hearing that the domestic tour fees have decreased. Vietrantour, for example, has launched 10 special tours, specifically designed for the summer, of which the most costly tour has the tour fee of 7,590,000 dong only.
“I was so surprised that the tour fee has been slashed by 3-4 million dong in comparison with normal days and by 50 percent in comparison with the May holiday,” Yen said.
Thanh in Ba Dinh district in Hanoi also said she is satisfactory with the current tour fees.
“Most of the travel firms have announced tour fee reductions,” he said. “Despite the lower tour fees, travelers would still be able to stay in 3-4 star hotels. But I still wonder if the service quality is good enough.”
According to Nguyen Thi Huyen, Director of Vietrantour, travel firms have lowered tour fees because Vietnam Airlines has accepted to reduce the airfare by up to 40 percent, applied to the groups of 10 or more travelers. This is the biggest tourism promotion program in 2012 which allows people to choose suitable tours at reasonable costs.
Ton That Hoa, Secretary General of HTA, said travel firms are negotiating with local partners on slashing service fees. After they reach agreements about the new tour fees, the firms would join forces with HTA to inform to travelers.
Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon has reported that a lot of land service providers have cooperated with travel firms in the program to slash tour fees. The hotels in the cities of Hue, Hai Phong and Ha Long, for example, have said they would slash hotel room rates for the travelers in groups.
30 percent tour fee reduction unfeasible?
However, Hoa has also expressed his worry about the 30 percent tour fee reduction Vietnam Airlines has asked travel firms to do, in return for the airfare reduction.
Thanh Nien newspaper has quoted some travel firms as saying that the 30 percent tour fee reduction proves to go beyond travel firms’ capacity.
The He Tre travel firm’s Deputy Director Tran The Dung said it’s unreasonable to require the 30 percent tour fee reduction, because the sharp fall would bring no profit to travel firms.
Also according to Dung, a well known travel firm would make a modest profit of 15-20 percent from every tour, while it would make the profit of 10-12 percent only, if it organizes tours for travelers in groups.
The He Tre once contacted Vietnam Airlines, promising to slash the tour fee by 8 percent in return for the airfare reduction. The air carrier replied that the travel firm needs to slash the tour fee by 10 percent more in order to obtain low cost air tickets. However, the proposal was refused by the travel firm.
“We can make the profit of 15 percent from every tour. Therefore, we can only slash the tour fee by 13 percent at maximum, while sharper reduction would bring loss,” Dung said.
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