No room at the inn

TN News

Email Print

With two public holidays followed by the weekend coming up, so many people want to take vacations that travel agents are swamped beyond their ability to please everyone.

No more hotel rooms are available, tour operators have no empty seats to fill, and most travel companies are turning down booking requests.

There's no sign of the slowing economy, what with hordes of people rushing to book a four-day vacation from Thursday's Liberation Day through Friday's Labor Day to Sunday evening.

Tour operators in Ho Chi Minh City say they have booked up to 15 percent more customers than last year, when the public holidays fell on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tran Doan The Duy of Vietravel says all the places on his company's package tours to Beijing-Shanghai, Singapore and South Korea have been taken.

Fiditour, which is just as inundated with requests, is arranging more tours to Singapore and Malaysia as the firm's scheduled trips to the two countries are full.

Saigontourist has seen a surge in domestic tour reservations too, partly because many people have canceled trips to Thailand because of the political troubles there, according to the travel firm's Lam Tu Khoi.

Tours from Can Tho City to Phu Quoc Island, Da Lat, Nha Trang and Hoi An are booked out, Luu Nguyen Anh Thu of Saigontourist's Can Tho branch told Tuoi Tre on Sunday.

In the opposite direction, travel agents have booked more than 1,000 people into Can Tho's My Khanh Village, which is described as an "ecotourism hotspot of the Mekong Delta."

In Kien Giang Province to the south, the hotels and guest houses on Phu Quoc Island have been flooded with requests for accommodation since early this month, and most of the hotels have run out of empty rooms.

In south-central Binh Thuan Province, director Lam Quang Hien of the local tourism department said on Sunday that "it's too late to book a hotel room now."

His department has ordered hotels and other lodgings in the province to keep their rates unchanged and improve their service.

Oddly enough, some small hotels in Binh Thuan have actually knocked 10-30 percent off their normal room tariffs.

Hien thinks the number of holidaymakers spending the four days in Phan Thiet, Rom Island or La Gi Beach will jump by 7 percent from last year to more than 53,000.

Rom Island Resort took more than 1,200 group and individual bookings a month ago, according to the resort's general manager, Nguyen Van Tho.

"The only thing left for us to do is welcome the visitors," Tho said.

Since Sunday, all phone calls and emails to the multitude of hotels in Da Lat have been answered with an apology that there's no room left.

There are some 600 hotels in the highland city yet room reservations began flooding in two months ago, even though some hotels have doubled their rates.

Hotels in Da Nang have also raised their prices knowing there will be so many visitors desperate for a place to stay.

It's estimated that 30 percent more people from Hanoi and HCMC will visit the central city this week compared to a year ago.

Every hotel and resort on the Da Nang coast has been booked out, according to Tran Chi Cuong of the local tourism department.

Cuong believes the cable car at Ba Na Mountain alone will attract more than 5,000 tourists this week, and advises people wanting to visit Ba Na to just go for the day as there are far too few guest rooms for everyone.

The town of Hue to the north of Da Nang will be twice as crowded as usual now that all the three-star and cheaper accommodation is taken and the higher-end hotels are up to 80 percent booked.

Leading travel firm Vitour has had to turn down requests to carry tour operators' customers to the central region. Vitour deputy general director Cao Tri Dung said his company was only accepting individual seat bookings for the long holiday.

There are no seats left on flights from HCMC or mainland Kien Giang to Phu Quoc Island, or on the passenger ferries that operate between the island and the mainland.

On the highways, there will definitely be more buses from HCMC to Vung Tau, Da Lat, Phan Thiet, Nha Trang and Buon Ma Thuot, according to Thuong Thanh Hai, deputy director of Mien Dong Bus Station, the main coach terminus in HCMC.

The city's Mien Tay Bus Station, which services the Mekong Delta, will use 60 buses to carry the extra passengers to Can Tho and the rest of the region this week, deputy station manager Huynh Hai Oanh said.

More Travel News