Vacation Packages

Travel agencies offer cheap trips to mitigate Covid impact

Travelers could purchase a tour packages and depart at any time before the end of next year.

A representative of Hanoi-based CEO Travel said the company has been offering a voucher to stay at 5-star Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc Hotel with prices starting from VND499,000 ($21.71) a person, including a one night stay in a Deluxe Garden View room, free take-away breakfast, airport pick-up and drop-off and free entertainment services.

This price has decreased by more than 50 percent after the new wave reemerged in late April. The validity of the voucher extends until the end of 2022.

Since July 15, the company has sold more than 20,000 vouchers.

Phu Quoc Island is one of top tourist destinations in Vietnam and is planning to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists back from October.

Nguyen Duc Hieu, chief sales executive at Hanoi-based tour operator Aadasia Holidays, said his company has been providing travel vouchers with prices reduced from 20 to 50 percent, allowing customers to stay at luxury resorts and hotels at Pu Luong in Thanh Hoa, Phu Quoc, Hanoi and Cam Ranh in Khanh Hoa Province with a validity of one to two years.

However, other businesses are still cautious in selling these types of products.

Nguyen Minh Man, head of marketing at the HCMC-based TST Tourist Co., said the company has no plans to offer tour packages due to the unpredictable pandemic situation.

Man said his company currently only offers visa services and sells air tickets to maintain business operations.

Some travel firms have been offering cheap tour programs that require customers to carry Covid negative or vaccination certificates.

A tour package of four days and three nights from Hanoi to Cam Ranh costs only VND7.3 million per person, including round-trip airfare, 5-star resort and three meals a day while a three-night combo package from Hanoi to Phu Quoc set to depart in October costs only VND6 million per person.

After nearly two years and four waves of Covid, travel firms are nearing financial crisis, forcing them to find ways to survive the pandemic.

Though now might have been the peak summer travel season, over 20 localities, including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and popular tourist destinations have been put under lockdown amid the worsening Covid situation.

A report by Vietnam Tourism Association revealed up to 90 percent of tourism agencies are in dire straits. Most have had to let their employees stay home without pay, the report added.

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