Long weekend helps tour companies break the bank
Update: Apr 20, 2009
A large number of people have booked domestic and foreign tours to take advantage of a long weekend spanning Liberation Day and Labour Day on April 30 and May 1, according to tourism companies.

Thuy Linh, a Saigontourist official, said her company has made more than 4,500 bookings since the end of March.

Rach Gia - Phu Quoc, Vung Tau, Ha Long, Con Dao, Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, and Tay Nguyen are the most popular destinations, she said.

IKO Travel, her company’s economy tour, is the most popular because of its attractive price, she said.

Other tour operators also said tours to Phu Quoc and Con Dao are fully booked.

Hotels and resorts in Nha Trang, Vung Tau, and Phan Thiet are also almost full up, they said, with some keeping a few rooms in reserve to get high prices during the holiday period.

Many hotels and resorts in Nha Trang and Mui Ne have doubled their normal room tariffs.

The number of bookings for foreign tours is also high.

Instead of charging higher prices, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai of Fiditour said her company is offering discounts of US$100-300 during the holiday period.

It only costs $435 for a four-day tour of Beijing, $375 for a four-day tour of Shanghai, $490 for a five-day tour of Kunming, and $460 for a four-day tour of Brunei and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Vietravel has announced many tours, including a seven-day trip to Japan and a six-day trip to South Korea at $910.

Saigontourist said Korean Air is offering a five-day tour package from HCM City to South Korea at only $699 that includes three-star accommodation and airport transfers.