Expensive air tickets discourage travel plans during Reunification Day holiday

By Tu Nguyen   March 28, 2023 | 05:36 am PT
Expensive air tickets discourage travel plans during Reunification Day holiday
Mong Tay Islet on Phu Quoc Island in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Many people are hesitating to make travel plans for the long holiday break to celebrate Reunification Day and Labor Day due to expensive tickets on domestic air routes.

Hoai An from Hanoi planned to visit Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s biggest island in the south, with his family during the five-day holiday. However, she had to find another place closer to home like Sa Pa or Hoa Binh after realizing air tickets were too high.

The cheapest price for round-trip flights between Hanoi and Phu Quoc was VND6.6 million ($280) per person.

"The cost of transportation was over VND20 million for a family of three people," she said. "It was too expensive."

This year, Vietnamese will enjoy a five-day break as the Hung Kings anniversary celebration falls on April 29, which is a Saturday, and people are entitled to take two extra days off the following week to compensate for that and Reunification Day on Sunday.

Linh Nhi from Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and her friends are also wondering whether to visit Da Nang or Thailand during the upcoming holiday.

Currently, Vietjet Air's round-trip flight tickets between HCMC and Da Nang during the holiday cost about VND 4.5 million, equivalent to those on the HCMC-Bangkok route.

According to a survey by VnExpress, airfares on domestic air routes during the April 30 holiday were 170% to 300% higher than usual.

One-way air ticket prices on the Hanoi-Da Nang route on weekdays in March were around VND1 million but rose to VND2.1 million for trips on April 28. One-way airfares from Hanoi to Phu Quoc also quadrupled to VND4 million during the holiday.

A representative of Vietravel Airlines said airfares to tourist cities such as Da Nang, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang are "increasing day by day."

A spokesman for Bamboo Airways said the expensive air tickets were due to a high travel demand and limited supply capacity.

Due to expensive airfares, many families have not yet finalized their travel plans for the long holiday break.

Data from travel platform Mustgo, a partner of 2,000 hotels across the country, showed hotel room occupancy in tourist destinations connected by air such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang or Da Nang during the holiday is currently less than 60%.

Dinh Thi Thu Thao, sales director of Mustgo Travel Company, said that most of her company's hotel partners have dropped the holiday surcharge of about 20% as a motivation to lure tourists amid a gloomy outlook for the holiday.

Many travel firms in Phu Quoc are also worried that hotel occupancy during the holiday will only be around 40-50% due to costly air tickets.

Last year, the tourism industry received 5 million domestic tourists during the four-day Reunification Day holiday, earning revenues of VND22 trillion.

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