Vietnamese travel firms offer Cup final tours to China as football frenzy grips nation

By Vy An   January 24, 2018 | 03:12 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese travel firms offer Cup final tours to China as football frenzy grips nation
Vietnamese people take to the streets of Hanoi on January 23 after the U23 national football team beat Qatar and made it to the final of the AFC U23 Championship. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Vietnam's foreign ministry is also working with China to authorize more flights and speed up visa processing for football fans.

Travel firms in Vietnam are offering football fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch their team compete in the final of the Asian Football Confederation Under-23 (AFC U23) Championship.

And Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lent football fans a hand by requesting the Chinese embassy in Hanoi to allow additional flights from Vietnam and speed up visa processing for Vietnamese wishing to attend the final in Changzhou, a city in China's Jiangsu Province.

Vietnam secured a place in the final against Uzbekistan on Saturday with a dramatic victory over Qatar on Tuesday.

This is the first time ever in football history that a Southeast Asian team has made it to the final of the competition.

Earlier in the tournament, Vietnam also became the first Southeast Asian team to achieve a group stage victory by defeating Australia, and one of the first teams from the region to reach the quarterfinals together with Malaysia.

With football-mania sweeping the nation, travel firms have been quick to organize tours to China that include tickets to watch the game.

HanoiRedtours has coordinated with national flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines to offer a three-day tour that departs on Friday night costing VND18.9 million ($823) per person.

Deputy CEO Nguyen Cong Hoan said that fans had snapped up the deal soon after it was put on Facebook on Tuesday morning, and the firm had allowed customers to confirm their bookings after the semifinal.

Vietnam Airlines has already announced it will be adding two additional flights to its schedule on Saturday from HCMC and Hanoi to Changzhou.

Vietravel is also offering four-day tours with a starting price of VND19.99 million per person from either Hanoi or HCMC.

Golden Tour in Hanoi is selling trips to Changzhou and Jiangsu from Hanoi on Friday for VND14.9 million.

Fans looking for a cheaper alternative can travel by land with Vietsky Travel, Avitour or Goldsun Travel for a four-day trip costing VND11.9 million.

In the spirit of the occasion, one bank and a real estate firm have decided to play it big by paying for their staff to travel to China to watch the game, sending employees over the moon.

A senior official from the bank told VnExpress that the final will be held at the weekend so will not affect business, while a director from the property firm had said previously that all its staff would enjoy a trip to China if Vietnam made it to the final, and it looks like the company is fulfilling its promise.

 
 
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