Vietnam tour operators told to halt Bangkok trips - Mekong tours
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism on Monday ordered local tourism operators to halt tours to Bangkok until the situation in Thailands capital city becomes stable.
Local companies were also warned about taking Vietnamese travelers to other dangerous sites in Thailand. The order came after 21 people were killed and 800 injured in weekend protests that turned violent. VNAT also requested authorities in cities and provinces nationwide to tighten control over companies that provide tours to Thailand.
Tourism, which accounts for six percent of the Thai economy, is suffering badly following the protests, Reuters reported Monday. The number of Vietnamese tourists to Thailand has fallen sharply in recent days, with many trips cancelled on safety concerns.
Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigontourist said it plans to restart trips to Thailand on April 29.
Lai Minh Duy, director of TST Tourist, said his company will offer tours to Thailand again after April 20. Other tourism companies, including Vietravel and Lua Viet, said they would cancel all trips until the situation becomes stable in Thailand. Vietravel takes around 350 Vietnamese tourists to Thailand every week.
Lai Huu Phuong, director of Ben Thanh Tourist Travel Sevice Center, told Thanh Nien travel firms are taking risks in organizing trips to Thailand now as they have to book hotel rooms and air tickets in advance. Many firms have had to suffer losses when cancelling planned trips, Phuong said.
Airway International first opened, East Ocean ports serving international cruise ship port is also investing plus free visa policy for foreign visitors to Phu Quoc are the very conditions good to Phu Quoc tourism developed rapidly, thriving in the future.
The countries and territories visa exemption for
Visa on arrival Vietnam
* When you received the visa approval letter, please continue by doing these following items :
+ Print out the visa approval letter, application form entry and exit which we sent to your email by JPG or PDF.
+ Bring passport, two pictures (4x6 cm) and stamping fee in cash (25 USD/person for single entry, or 50 USD - 95 USD/person for multiple entries).
* On arrival date, at International Airports in Vietnam (Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai or Da Nang), please show all things that you have prepared to Immigration Department Officers at Landing visa area to stamp visa on your passport.
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However most effective only with diplomatic passports (HCNG), official passports (HCCV) and those with ordinary passports (HCPT) but as in the diplomatic missions, the consular offices and international organizations.
Maldives can apply for visa at the border gates and very convenient. Photo: 15pictures.
However, there are still some countries / territories visa-free for tourists Vietnam, or apply on arrival visa policy at the border with visa ratio reached almost 100%, quick procedures.
* The countries / territories visa-free
- Thailand: No visa for people with HCPT with a stay period not exceeding 30 days.
- Singapore: No visa for people with HCPT, stay period not exceeding 30 days and have a return ticket or tickets go to other countries, have the financial ability to pay for a stay period and meet all necessary conditions to go to other countries.
- Laos: No visa for people with HCPT with a stay period not exceeding 30 days. The entry needs more than 30 days must apply for a visa in advance; stay period may be extended up to 2 times daily for 30 days.
HCMC travel firms cornered by airline discount offer
Ho Chi Minh City tour operators say a plan initiated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines to reduce tour prices by 30 percent requires concessions they cannot afford to give.
Many of the companies that agreed to be part of the campaign says the 40 percent fare discount offered by the carrier is very welcome, but asking them to cut tour prices by 30 percent in return is not feasible.
Under a deal signed late last month between Vietnam Airlines and 19 members of the HCMC Tourism Association, airfares would be discounted for travel agencies that can cut their own prices for tours from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Phu Quoc and Da Lat.
Tran The Dung, deputy director of The He Tre Company, said a big tourism firm earns a maximum profit of 20 percent on each tour, so a 30 percent cut is too much.
“We can cut prices by a maximum of 13 percent, no more,” Dung said.
guide said tour operators used to earn profit margins of up to 30 percent but many of them have reduced their prices because of the economic slowdown, so it was hard for them to make further cuts.
“A 30 percent discount right now is a big challenge for travel agencies,” the tour guide said, preferring to remain anonymous.
Ton That Hoa, general secretary of the HCMC Tourism Association, also said the required discount is beyond the capacity of tourism firms who
having trouble persuading hotels and restaurants to join in the price cuts.
These facilities said they have registered their prices with local authorities since the beginning of this year and its impossible to change them now, he said.
“In Hue, for instance, they only promised to offer discounts to only one of every ten customers in a tour instead of everyone. This solution does not help much,” Hoa said.
Some facilities in the UNESCO heritage towns of Ha Long and Hue have even raised their prices for the summer.
Hoa said the firms are also worried about unstable petrol prices. When fuel prices surge, the prices of many tourism services will follow suit and it would get even harder for them to cut tour prices.
The promotion package is planned to last until the end of the year.
While HCMC travel agencies are struggling to smooth out its cooperation with the national carrier, their counterparts in Hanoi have successfully made use of the carriers discounts on newly-developed routes to the south-central and Mekong Delta regions.
Their 30-40 percent discounts, which will last through the summer, are the biggest tourism promotion by Hanoi firms since 2009, according to a recent statement on the government website.
Nguyen Cong Hoan, director of Hanoi Redtour, said his firm is taking customers to Tam Ky, Quy Nhon and Phu Yen instead of the traditionally more popular neighbors Da Nang and Nha Trang.
The customers can enjoy the reduced prices while saving themselves from the crowd, he said.
“The prices of hotels and restaurants in these emerging destinations are also more reasonable than those at large cities. A four-star resort in Phu Yen only charges as much as a three-star one in Nha Trang,” Hoan said.
Mai Thanh, head of the domestic tourism department at the Hanoi branch of leading tourism firm Saigontourist, said the company has launched several different tours from Hanoi to the Mekong Delta.
Customers on these tours used to pay VND10-11 million (US$479-527) each, but now the price is only around VND7 million ($335), Thanh said.
World hospitality, tourism sector has high