|Korean tourists visit book street in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: VNA)
Gmarket's Data released on January 19 showed that a major e-commerce platform in the RoK, the number of purchases of premium airline tickets such as business class tickets increased significantly last year as demand for overseas travel increased after the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the number of business class flight bookings increased by 254% in 2023, 3.5 times higher than in 2022.
Despite the long-term economic recession, more and more Korean residents are inclined to enjoy “fly and vacation” amenities, as they are willing to spend on comfortable airplane seats.
Analysis of airline ticket sales also showed that Vietnam accounts for 18% of Korean business class bookings, followed by Thailand (16%) and Japan (12%).
In the second half of 2023, business class ticket bookings reached 68%, double the first half level of 32%.
|Vietnam - the destination with the highest number of business class bookings
Large domestic airlines such as Asiana Airlines and Korean Air accounted for 51 percent of total business tickets booked, proving that Koreans favour domestic airlines.
Seizing the above demand, Korean airlines have developed marketing strategies aimed at offering distinct benefits, and quickly responding to customer tastes.
Experiencing Vietnamese Tet in Duong Lam Ancient Village
A tourism promotion programme themed “Tet Lang Viet” (Tet in Vietnamese village) is being held in the ancient village of Duong Lam, Son Tay township of Hanoi on January 20-21 to promote the value of traditional Tet customs, reported VNA.
|Vietnamese people wrap chung cake (square glutinous rice cake) on Tet holiday (Photo: anninhthudo.vn)
Diverse activities are to be held during the programme, including a tour to fully experience the beauty of Vietnamese Tet in a traditional market space, ethnic art performances at Mong Phu communal house yard, check-in at the most unique spots in the village, and booths to introduce local specialties, handicraft products and craft villages.
It also has a space for visitors to experience traditional Tet customs with activities such as calligraphy, To He (toy figurines) shaping, and folk games.
|This is the third year the programme “Tet Lang Viet” has been held in Duong Lam ancient village (Photo: hanoimoi.vn)
People and tourists can also learn about traditional customs during the traditional Tet festival such as New Year's Eve ceremony, the carp fish release, and gifts of Li Xi or lucky money, together with the unique and famous culinary culture of Duong Lam.
This is the third year the programme has been held with the participation of ambassadors and delegates from several diplomatic agencies and international organisations and both foreign and domestic tourists. It not only contributes to introducing Vietnamese culture to international friends but is also a way to preserve traditions for future generations.
Hanoi, HCM City real estate markets show mixed results
According to Saigon Times, the real estate markets in Vietnam’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, indicated signs of recovery amid protracted woes in the final months of last year, according to a Savills report.
|A real estate project in the Thu Thiem new urban area in Thu Duc City, HCM City (Source: Saigon Times)
Giang Huynh, head of Research and S22M at Savills Vietnam, said, “Residential stock in major cities remains low, pushing demand to neighboring provinces. The commercial outlook is sound, with office stock increasingly green.”
In Hanoi, apartment stock of the primary market in the final quarter of 2023 dropped by 41% year-on-year to 11,911 units. Primary asking prices of net sellable area rose to VND58 million per square meter, up 12% against the same period previous year.
Do Thu Hang, senior director of Advisory Services at Savills Hanoi, said demand and supply for affordable properties were misaligned. Average primary prices in the city have inched up for 20 consecutive quarters.
In HCM City, the supply of primary apartments in quarter four of 2023 remained limited, with only 7,600 units available, a 5% decrease compared to the previous year.
Experts forecast by 2026, the outlying districts are expected to account for 74% and 75% of the new supply of landed properties in Hanoi and HCM City, respectively. The tendency may be attributed to favorable conditions such as regional connectivity and affordable prices.
Office and retail markets performed well in both cities, with healthy demand, rising rents, and high occupancy. Retail occupancy in the final quarter of 2023 in Hanoi reached 88% while it was 92% as for HCM City.
According to Savills analysts, Vietnam’s real estate market will strengthen this year, led by foreign direct investment inflows, consumer demand, and infrastructure development./.