Northern hotels fully booked as holiday rates double

By Tu Nguyen    April 25, 2024 | 11:46 pm PT
Northern hotels fully booked as holiday rates double
Tourists on Cat Ba Island in Hai Phong City, 2019. Photo by Shutterstock
Hotels in northern Vietnam's top destinations are already fully booked for the five-day Reunification Day (April 30) and Labor Day (May 1) later this month, inspiring accommodations to double room rates.

The region's most popular destinations easily accessible by car from Hanoi, including Cat Ba, Sa Pa, Ha Long, and Ninh Binh, have become the most over-booked in the northern region for this year's holiday as travelers are avoiding inflated airfares, according to travel agencies.

Aircraft shortages have already been ballooning domestic air ticket prices this year, long since before the holiday, and the season’s traditional surge in travel and prices has added insult to injury.

Data from travel platform Mustgo, which partners with 2,000 hotels across the country, has revealed that hotel occupancy rates in Cat Ba on April 28 and 29 are over 90%, while all luxury rooms have already been booked.

A representative of Flamingo Cat Ba Resort said the facility has booked 90% of its rooms during the major vacation period’s peak days.

Holiday room prices at the resort have also increased 30% compared to non-holiday rates.

Online booking platforms have informed several hotels in Cat Ba that nearly all their room reservations have already sold out, with only "a few" accommodation options still available at each facility.

At least one hotel in central Cat Ba has only one available double-bed room left for VND1.2 million (US$47) per night, double the normal rate.

In downtown Ha Long City where the Carnaval Ha Long Festival is scheduled to take place from April 27-29, hotels are charging extra "holiday fees" over the period.

Bui Thanh Tu, marketing director of travel firm Best Price, said Ha Long Bay boat tours have been fully booked since the beginning of April, with 20% of his company's customers being foreigners.

Bui Van Manh, director of Ninh Binh Department of Tourism, said holiday occupancy rates in Ninh Binh's capital city and nearby popular tourist destinations such as Trang An and Bai Dinh have reached over 90%.

Many of the area’s largest hotels were already 100% full last week, he said.

"I booked a room for my family for two nights in Ninh Binh on April 29-30, but most accommodation facilities were full," said Ngoc Lan, 30, from Hanoi.

In Hanoi, homestays and villas in the suburbs are in full demand.

Anbooking, a unit that manages more than 70 villas and homestays around Hanoi, said its occupancy rate on April 30 and May 1 has reached over 80%.

Hoang Thi Vuong, head of Sa Pa Culture and Information Department, said that holiday occupancy rates in Sa Pa, a mountainous resort town near the Chinese frontier, are also over 80%.

Pham Van Thang, an official from the Dien Bien Province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, confirmed that the city has "only few rooms" left available for the holidays.

Predictably, it is currently most difficult for tour groups of around 10 people or so to find hotel rooms in the city center.

Due to mushrooming demand, most three-star hotels in popular tourist destinations are now applying increased holiday surcharges and raising their prices by 20-30%, while motels and one-to-two-star hotels have doubled their normal room rates.

Motels in Cat Ba area are also offering room rates of about VND700,000 per night during the holiday, double their weekday average.

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