SEA Games: Philippines tours hotcakes as Vietnam in football final

By Doan Loan, Nguyen Nam   December 8, 2019 | 02:11 am PT
SEA Games: Philippines tours hotcakes as Vietnam in football final
Some foreign tourists joined the revelry in Hanoi as Vietnamese football fans celebrated the men's teams entry into the SEA Games final after beating Cambodia on December 7, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
The demand for tours to the Philippines has soared after Vietnamese men defeated Cambodia to enter the SEA Games football final against Indonesia.

The number of people buying tours to Manila has experienced a rapid surge since Saturday night, soon after Vietnam advanced to its first SEA Games final in 10 years. The final match of the SEA Games men’s football will be played Tuesday.   

Tours priced from VND9.5 million ($409) to VND15 million ($646) are almost sold out, local operators said.

A representative of local tour operator Vietravel said over 500 slots departing from Da Nang City, Hanoi and HCMC to Manila were sold out. "We are working with airlines to open additional flights to cater to the growing travel demand, the representative said.

Leading travel company Saigontourist has sold 60 percent of its tours and continued to receive bookings until Tuesday morning.

Travel agency Hanoi Redtours has chartered an aircraft to take football fans from Hanoi to Manila, and 90 percent of the seats were booked as of Saturday night.

Besides charter tours, local travel companies are still offering customers regular tours to visit the Philippines in combination with watching the final match between Vietnam and Indonesia.

Currently, three carriers, Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, operate direct flights from HCMC to Manila with an average ticket price of VND9 - 11 million ($387-$473) for a round trip. Vietnam Airlines does not have a direct flight from Hanoi to Manila.

The carriers themselves have increased the number of flights to the Philippines.

On Saturday night, Vietnam Airlines announced it would add six additional flights, equivalent to 1,300 seats to take Vietnamese fans to the Philippines. Vietnam's football team is chasing a 60-year-old gold medal dream.

The additional flights will leave for Manila Tuesday morning and return to Vietnam a day later.

Fans storm streets as Vietnam advances to SEA Games men's football final after a facile 4-0 win over Cambodia on Saturday.

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