To avoid home crowds, people chose outbound tours

By Lan Huong   April 27, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
To avoid home crowds, people chose outbound tours
A group of Vietnamese tourists pose for photos in Dubai, February 2022. Photo courtesy of Saigontourist
With domestic tourist destinations expected to attract large crowds during the upcoming long weekend, many have chosen to fly out.

Le Thanh Son and three of his friends from the Central Highlands town of Buon Ma Thuot will spend the holiday Malaysia.

Vietnam will enjoy a four-day Reunification Day (April 30) and Labor Day (May 1) holiday starting this Saturday.

Son, 30, said he decided to travel abroad to avoid "mass crowds" and "heavy traffic jams" that he saw during the previous national holidays.

He and his friend had driven to resort town Da Lat in the Central Highlands for the Reunification Day holiday in 2019. They'd got stuck in heavy traffic for a few hours at the downtown roundabout.

During the three-day holiday for the Hung Kings festival this month, he traveled to Can Gio on the outskirts of HCMC but saw crowds of people there, too.

"I promised myself I would never travel to crowded tourist hotspots during national holidays. It's tiring and time consuming."

Like Son, Thanh Mai and her family in Hanoi decided to visit Cambodia during the upcoming holiday instead of struggling with jostling crowds at domestic tourist hotspots.

Mai said she booked a tour package for VND7.5 million ($328.74) per person.

Though her family first planned a trip to Phu Quoc Island off the southern coast, the thought of crowds in restaurants and entertainment areas and the hours it would take to catch a taxi or get entry tickets was off putting.

The outbound tour choice for people wanting to avoid domestic holiday crowds has been made easier because many countries around the world have reopened international tourism and lifted travel restrictions. Vietnam has also resumed regular flights and eased entry restrictions for people returning from abroad.

Hoang Thuy Linh, deputy director of marketing and communications at HCMC tour operator Saigontourist, said their outbound tours for the holiday were nearly fully booked.

Her company will organize 60 tours for Vietnamese tourists to Dubai, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. There are still a few slots for tours to Asian countries like Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, she added.

Bui Thanh Tu, marketing director of travel company BestPrice, also saw positive signs for the outbound tours market with the increase in number of bookings for this holiday.

Tu said tours to Southeast Asian countries for the holiday cost from VND7-12 million per person. Tours to Dubai cost around VND30 million and to the Maldives, VND60 million, a slight increase over normal days.

Under current regulations, foreign entrants entering Vietnam only need to present a negative Covid test result.

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