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Summer travel trend: Vietnamese tourists opt for nearby destinations
Ngo Minh 21:14, 2024/06/03
Due to the high cost of air tickets, many people choose to travel by train, car or fly to regional countries.

In 2024, Vietnamese are more likely to travel within the country by road or to neighboring countries in Southeast Asia due to increased domestic airfares.

Road tourism favored

Nguyen Huu Cuong, an expert at the UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club, says the cost of air tickets has increased by 150-200% this year compared to 2023. Only on routes costing VND3.5 million (US$145), such as Hanoi-Danang, are travel agencies willing to invest in ticket distribution. Popular destinations such as Phu Quoc have lost their appeal as airfares to the island have risen from VND4-VND6 million ($166-$250) to VND6-VND8.5 million ($250-$355) this year.

Travel agencies also focus on destinations accessible by car and train, such as Thanh Hoa (Sam Son, Hai Hoa beaches); Nghe An (Cua Lo, Cua Hoi beaches); Ha Tinh (Thien Cam Beach); Quang Binh (Nhat Le Beach, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park); Lao Cai (Sapa); Haiphong (Cat Ba Archipelago); Quang Ninh (Ha Long Bay, Co To Island).

 Tourists to Ha Long Bay can spend the night in the bay or choose a day tour to enjoy the scenery and music performed on deck. Photo: Ambassador Cruise

"If every year road trip were not at the forefront of our marketing program, this year tour packages by car within a radius of 500 km, lasting 2-5 days at an affordable price is our trump card," said Cuong.

Hanh Tran, travel director of My Phuc Happy Travel, echoed the same sentiment when commenting on this year's domestic market trends, predicting that Ha Long Bay and the Cat Ba Archipelago will be attractive destinations this year, as these places meet the criteria for road travel within a 300km radius.

"Travellers only need a budget of about VND2.5 million ($100) each for a two-day trip," Hanh said.

Nguyen Hong Nhat, CEO of APC Corporation, the cruise operator Ambassador, said the Ha Long Bay cruise is very popular during the summer holidays among domestic and international tourists.

In addition to the night tour in the bay, the Ambassador cruise offers a day tour, with additional offers to see fireworks every night from the boat, combined with art performances on the deck at night, transforming the cruise into a floating stage in Ha Long Bay. 

Venture abroad

In addition to domestic destinations, Vietnamese also travel abroad in the summer because airfares are cheaper than domestic flights. Popular destinations include Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan (China), according to Vitratour Deputy CEO Le Tan Thanh Tung.

"In summer, tourists choose to go abroad to enjoy the cool weather and, more importantly, cheap airline tickets make the total cost of overseas tour better than domestic travel," he said.

 Similarities in cuisine and culture are among the reasons why Vietnamese tourists choose to travel to the SEA region. Photo: STB

Hanoi tourism companies offer package tours from Hanoi to Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou (China), and destinations in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore (flying with Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, and Vietravel Airlines).

The increase in prices of certain products can be attributed to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and changes in airport fees and surcharges, but it is not significant, Tung said.

The report "Vietnamese outbound travel trends - Summer 2024", published by The Outbox Company, a renowned market research and data analysis firm specializing in hospitality and tourism in Asia, notes that Vietnamese travelers prefer short breaks, with 71.5% choosing trips of less than a week. This year's peak months for summer outbound travel are expected to be June and July.

Travel is becoming an increasingly important activity for Vietnamese. Of those surveyed, 31% said they would be willing to spend more on travel experiences and 45.6% decided to keep their travel budgets unchanged.

The survey results indicate that Vietnamese travelers intend to venture abroad in the next 12 months, with 79.7% of trips planned for this summer.

Intraregional travel remains a dominant trend, with 64.4% of Vietnamese tourists opting for nearby destinations within Asia for their next trips. Traditional favorites like South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore remain popular options, while China emerges as a remarkable newcomer in the top five favorite destinations.

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