As National Day nears, travellers check budgets

The number of Vietnamese vacationing for September 2’s National Day hasn’t risen substantially this year, with ticket prices high and budgets tight, travel agents are saying.

Although the number of flight reservations has risen 10 per cent over the norm, no additional flights would occur during the holiday

According to Phung Thi Ly Ha, the vice head of Ha Noi Railway Station, 5 per cent more passengers will travel by train than do during a normal week, a 20 per cent reduction compared with the same period last year.

Most of those passengers are students, labourers and workers who have been employed far from home. Routes in the northern provinces affected by current rains and flooding have received minimal bookings, Ha said.

Nguyen Thu Nguyet, a resident of Doi Can Street, said that her family decided to spend the holiday at a suburban entertainment centre instead of at a luxury resort in Quang Nam Province.

“We’ll use the money for our children’s education, and go by motorbike, so we’ll still have time together during the days off despite high inflation,” said Nguyet.

Nguyen Huu Tuyen, the head of the Transport Department under the Viet Nam Railway Station said no additional trains would run during the national holiday and routes would operate as scheduled.

Nguyen Cong Bang, the head of Ha Noi Bus Station Management Company’s Planning Office said that ticket prices had risen 15 per cent due to the hike in fuel prices, deterring many would-be travellers.

The company, however, has prepared more than 620 coaches operating within 300km and more than 460 buses to ensure service and avoid traffic problems during the upcoming holiday.

Although the number of flight reservations has risen 10 per cent over the norm, no additional flights would occur during the holiday, according to Viet Nam Airlines’ flight control centre.

Around 900 to 1,000 seats on flights to favoured tourism locales like Da Nang and Nha Trang, have been reserved, but the management board said that the number of tickets booked on Viet Nam Airlines had gradually fallen since the middle of August.

Luong Hoai Nam, the director of Jetstar Pacific, said there were 15 per cent more reservations than normal between Friday and National Day, but there would be no flights in addition to the four already operating planes.

Demand increases

However, the number of HCM City travellers has increased 40 per cent over the holiday in spite of higher ticket prices, said travel agents.

“I bought two tickets to Hanoi at VND1,120,000, 10 per cent more than usual. The price is still reasonable,” said Nguyen Duc Binh, a resident of Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in District 3, HCM City.

Nguyen Ngoc Thua, the director of Mien Dong Bus Station, said roughly 33,411 people booked tickets for Friday and 28,663 people for Monday.

About 33,000 passengers opted for public transport out of Mien Tay Station for the long holiday. According to Pham Van Thong, the director of the station, transportation companies are required to supply more routes and more buses to meet the high demand during the four day holiday.

Heavy traffic routes include from Hanoi and HCM City to the central cities of Da Nang, Hue and the southern provinces of Da Lat, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.

Source: Viet Nam News – Collected by Vietnam Travel Blog