Vietnamese tour operators bump prices ahead of peak season

By VnExpress   April 1, 2017 | 07:00 pm PT
Tourists will now have to pay more for flights and tours to popular sites such as Ha Long Bay and Da Nang.

Starting from April 1, local and foreign visitors will have to pay a higher fee for domestic flights and tours to some of Vietnam's most-visited attractions, including Ha Long Bay and Ba Na Hills, as the country prepares to enter its peak tourist season.

Tourists will now have to pay for a whole tour package instead of paying for entry to individual caves in Ha Long Bay, a world-renowned natural site that has around 1,600 islands and islets that form a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars in the northern province of Quang Ninh. Around 3.5 million foreigners visited the bay last year.

Several tours in Ha Long Bay and its northeastern neighbor Bai Tu Long will now cost about VND200,000-250,000 ($8.8 - 11) per tour. Previously, visitors had to pay a general fee of VND120,000 ($5.3), plus an extra fee ranging from VND30,000 to 50,000 ($1.3 - 2.2) for entry into individual caves.

New fees for longer tours (one day, two nights) in Ha Long Bay will be raised to VND500,000 to 700,000 ($22 - 30.8) per person. Prior to this change, the cost for overnight stays on the bay from one to three nights were VND200,000 - 350,000 - 400,000 ($8.8 - $15.4 - $17.6) per person, respectively.

For Bai Tu Long Bay, the fees are currently sitting at VND150,000 - 300,000 - 350,000 ($6.6 - $13.2 - $17.6) per person.

In addition, return tickets for visitors coming through Tuan Chau Port to visit Ha Long and Bai Tu Long will be VND40,000 ($1.75).

Meanwhile, non-local visitors who want to visit Ba Na Hills, a hill station and resort known for its cool weather and gorgeous countryside views of the central city of Da Nang, will have to pay an extra VND50,000 for tickets that now range from VND550,000 to 650,000 ($24.2 - $28.5).


Ba Na Hills is located about 30km from Da Nang. Photo by VnExpress

National carrier Vietnam Airlines has also raised ticket prices. The company said this is a regular adjustment which will be applied until March 31 next year. Economy class tickets for domestic flights have increased by VND40,000- 300,000 ( $1.75 - $13.2) per trip, and business class by VND100,000 - 500,000 ($4.4 - $22).

Earlier, private carriers including Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific Airlines also increased their fees.

Hotels and airline tickets are expected to be in short supply during the last week of April and the first week of May, with public holidays, including the Hung Kings Day, Liberation Day and Labor Day, all stacked in this period.

Vietnam welcomed more than 3 million foreign visitors in the first quarter of 2017, a 30 percent increase from the same period last year, official data showed. The country is on track to reaching its target of welcoming 11.5 million international visitors this year, which will contribute over $20 billion to the economy. 

Tourism is expected to contribute 10 percent to Vietnam’s gross domestic product by 2020 when the country expects to receive up to 20 million foreign visitors and earn $35 billion in tourism revenue.

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