Travel firms offer short tours during Tet

Monday, 16/01/2023 18:45
Travel firms are offering tours lasting for two or three days to satisfy the increasing demand during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year), the biggest holiday in Vietnam.
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Travel firms are offering tours lasting for two or three days. (Photo: VNA) 

Paradise Vietnam, a leading cruise operator in UNESCO-recognised Ha Long Bay in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, is offering such tours on luxurious vessel Paradise Elegance, traditional wooden junk Paradise Sails and Paradise Peak  - the most luxurious ship cruising the bay, which are chosen by many international holidaymakers after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, VNA cited the saying of Sales Director Cao Anh Tuan.

Tuan noted that his company has seen a remarkable rise in the number of foreign vacationers for cruises in Ha Long Bay, especially those from Spain, France, the US, Australia, the Republic of Korea (RoK), India, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Ly Truong Xuan, in charge of marketing at Vietnamtourism-Hanoi, said international visitors favour short tours to Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An and HCM City, adding that most of the bookings come from Spanish, Belgian, British, German, and Israeli tourists.

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Illustrative image (Source: VNA) 

Notably, holidaymakers will have chances to experience Vietnamese traditions and cuisines on the occasion of the Lunar New Year.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam welcomed more than 3.66 million international tourist arrivals last year, with high revenues recorded in such localities as Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Khanh Hoa, HCM City, Can Tho, Lam Dong, Da Nang, Hanoi, and Quang Ninh.

Travel companies said tourists started booking for Tet tours, both inbound and outbound, in mid-November, and the number of tourists during the holiday is expected to rise by 30-40% year-on-year.

Given this, the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines said it will increase flights to 500 from January 6 to February 5, or from the 15th day of the last lunar month to the 15th of the Lunar New Year.

Tour operator Saigontourist has offered 300 products on this occasion, and expected to serve more than 20,000 holidaymakers. Vietravel has also launched 200 inbound and outbound tours for Tet.

Vietnam aims to welcome 110 million tourist arrivals this year, of whom 8 million are foreign, and earn some 650 trillion VND (27.73 billion USD) from the tourism sector.

Airlines increase night flights, tighten security measures ahead of Tet

Several days ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has requested that airlines add night flights and tighten security measures in a bid to meet the increasing demand of travelers for the festive celebrations.

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Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest in Vietnam, is crowded with people travelling home for Tet celebrations. 

According to VOV, hordes of local people have converged on airports over recent days as they fly home for Tet celebrations together along with their family, causing overcrowding at local airports.

In a recent dispatch, the CAAV requested airlines arrange night flights to meet travelers’ needs in line with the aviation infrastructure, whilst also ensuring security and safety, noting that this is the most effective solution to address the backlog which hits airports at this time of year.

Airlines were also asked to arrange equipment and human resources, including pilots and flight attendants, to serve flights during the Lunar New Year break and the spring festivals.

The CAAV asked airports to deploy additional aviation security personnel, means, and equipment at the airports to quickly perform security screening and return baggage to passengers in a timely manner.

It is important to strengthen inspection and supervision of the observance of regulations on flight delays, cancellations, security, safety, and service quality of units operating at airports in order to ensure security and safety, as well as food safety and hygiene on flights and at airports, the CAAV said in its dispatch.

After more than two years of staying in Ho Chi Minh City and several southern localities due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers and students have chosen to fly home for Tet celebrations, resulting in a general scarcity of airfares.

Major domestic airlines have therefore moved to increase the number of flights in operation, with national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines offering more than 90,000 seats on 500 flights for the third time during the peak time from January 6 to February 5. Budget airlines such as Bamboo Airways and Vietjet Air also moved to increase 15% and 30% of their flight numbers, or more than 600,000 seats more compared to the normal schedule.

However, most of the added seats have already been occupied. In addition, the increasing demand for travel during the Tet break has also fueled ticket prices.

To purchase a ticket at a reasonable price, travelers are advised to choose either flights late at night or early in the morning. They are also recommended to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the departure time for domestic flights, and three hours for international flights, as well as doing online check-ins in advance to avoid overcrowding at the airport.

Vietnamese people will have seven days off work for the Tet break, starting on January 20. Many people, especially workers and students, have chosen to depart earlier than scheduled as they seek to spend more time staying with their family after more than two years of being stuck due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnamese products hold firm position in domestic market

According to VNA, thanks to the campaign to encourage Vietnamese people to prioritise Vietnamese products, which has been carried out for years, and the stable quality of the products, made-in-Vietnam commodities have drawn increasing attention of consumers.

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Shoppers at Big C Thang Long supermarket (Source: qdnd.vn) 

With the Lunar New Year (Tet) is just around the corner, domestic supermarkets such as Mega Market, Big C, Hapro Mart, Saigon Co.op and Winmart have been filled with products for Tet, most of which are domestic.

According to Le Manh Phong, Managing Director of Big C & Go! in Hanoi and northern region under the Central Retail Vietnam, Vietnamese products are making up over 90% of the total products available in the supermarkets chain.

Bui Trung Chinh, Food Purchasing Manager for the southern region at AEON Vietnam, said that the majority of products sold in the supermarket are supplied by Vietnamese partners, with over 80% being domestic products.

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) showed that currently, Vietnamese products are occupying more than 90% of space at domestic distribution facilities, and 60-96% of foreign supermarkets in Vietnam. At traditional markets, the rate is at least 60%.

Particularly, since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, 76% of Vietnamese consumers have said that they choose domestic products, especially those with trademark and high quality, it said.

Le Viet Nga, Vice Director of the Domestic Market under the MoIT, said that the ministry and domestic firms have paid special attention to material zone to ensure the quality of products, while improving the design and packaging to meet the demands of consumers. At the same time, suppliers have focused on environmental issues and communications to draw more consumers, she said.

However, experts held that with the engagement in many free trade agreements, the nearly 100-million-strong Vietnamese market is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for foreign commodities, which means fiercer competitions facing Vietnamese goods.

They advised domestic firms to raise their production capacity through the strengthening of science-technologies.

Nga said that in order to support Vietnamese firms to improve their competitiveness at the domestic market, the Prime Minister has signed a decision on the development of the market in association with the campaign to encourage Vietnamese people to use Vietnamese products, with an aim to ensure Vietnamese strong products making up 85% of modern distribution channels and over 80% in traditional channels.

Wood exports to hit record of 18 billion USD this year

The export turnover of wood and wood products is expected to set a record high of 18 billion USD in 2023, with wood pellets and woodchips forecast to enter the one-billion USD club, reported VNA.

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Export turnover of wood and wood products forecast to set record high of 18 billion USD in 2023 (Photo: VNA) 

President of the Vietnam Timber & Forest Products Association (Viforest) Do Xuan Lap said that the figure will represent a growth rate of 7-9%.

To that end, the industry will focus on raising the competitiveness of enterprises by reducing the use of imported wood, applying science and technology in improving labour productivity, and stepping up digital transformation to cut production costs.

In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2022, the number of orders decreased, and the gloomy atmosphere may linger on until the end of the first quarter of 2023. However, most of businesses believe that the situation may begin brightening from the second quarter.

Pellets and woodchips are also hoped to be a motivation for the development of the sector this year.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, head of the wood pellet branch under the Viforest, said that Vietnam earned over 700 million USD from exporting nearly 4.7 million tonnes of pellets last year, up 35% in volume and 81% in value year-on-year,

Currently, Vietnam is the world’s second biggest exporter of wood pellets, and the export value of this product is predicted to surpass 1 billion USD this year./.

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