According to surveys of VnExpressa four-night tour package from Hanoi to Thailand on February 14, the fifth day of the Lunar New Year, costs around VND10-11 million (US$410-451), while round-trip air tickets to Hanoi -Phu Quoc at the same time were 10.6 million VND.
A travel agency is offering a four-day tour package from Ho Chi Minh City to Taiwan on the first days of the same public holiday, Vietnam’s biggest, for VND12 million per person.
Flight tickets on the HCMC-Hanoi route during the same period cost up to VND 8 million in economy class and VND 16 million in business class.
Ticket prices for flights departing from Ho Chi Minh City during Tet rose about 170 to 300 percent compared to normal days, and they climbed 150 to 265 percent from Hanoi, according to statistics from tour operator Best Price.
Currently, flight tickets for the HCMC-Thanh Hoa route in November cost around 1.4 million VND per person, but the price for February 8, a day before Lunar New Year’s Eve, increased to 3, 4 million VND.
Tickets for the route from HCMC to Vinh on weekdays cost around 1.2 million on average, but they increase up to 3.5 million VND in the days before Tet.
From Hanoi, plane tickets to Da Nang on weekdays cost around 727,000 VND, but increase to 1.6 million VND during the week. Tet. Similarly, tickets from Hanoi to Phu Quoc Island on weekdays cost only 914,000 VND, but passengers have to pay 2.8 million VND during the week. Tet.
Nguyen Huu Cuong, general manager of Trang An Travel company, said “cheap tickets are very rare”, especially for flights departing from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City during the period. Tet.
He said domestic return ticket prices on some routes during the holiday are equal to or even higher than package tour prices to Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia.
“High airfare prices are one of the reasons why tourists have turned abroad during the period Tet vacation instead of taking domestic trips,” Cuong said.
“This would have a negative impact on the recovery of domestic tourism and relevant authorities should come together to resolve the issue.”
In March 2022, as Vietnam reopened tourism, domestic air ticket prices increased rapidly. However, tourists did not have many options while international destinations had not yet reopened their borders, and the demand for travel after two years of staying in their countries increased.
This year, many international routes have resumed and China, the world’s largest source market, has also restarted air services with Vietnam.
Therefore, the surge in domestic ticket prices that led to higher tour package prices would make it difficult for the domestic tourism market to recover, Cuong said.
Tetwhose upcoming season will peak on February 10, 2024, often sees millions of migrant workers from big cities and industrial hubs returning home for family reunions, as well as vacationers flocking to tourist hotspots.
Vietnam welcomed 93 million domestic tourists as of the end of September and the country is striving to reach the figure of 102 million by the end of this year.