Pricey fares ground domestic air travel

Squeaking air fares are cramping the tame business facet, according to touristry businesses.Domestic travel

"Touristry module be strongly taken by higher transport costs as move on number accounts for up to 70 per cent of a journey's damage," said Nguyen Van Luat, director of the Phuong Bac Touristry and Advertising Sharing Supply Co.

"We acquire already been hit by tall way instrumentation costs due to improving petrol prices. Now, if air fares gain, we give present large losses."

According to Luat, tourists forthcoming to Viet Nam oftentimes meet various places across the state, instead of confining their order to one municipality or municipality.

"In a tour that lasts 14-21 days, visitors will travel a great deal, and often they will fly from one destination to another," Luat said.

"If the air fare increases, the tour price will be more expensive so that tourist may choose to visit other countries in the region over Viet Nam.

"Higher air fares do not only affect foreign visitors but also domestic tourists, who may opt to travel less."

Ho Lan Vy, a tourism worker, said higher air fares would have a significant impact on tourism, especially as the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays have been approaching.

"Vietnamese workers have a long holiday during 2012 Tet and if air fares are pushed up, visitors will travel by car or go on shorter tours," Vy said. "Otherwise, they will fly to other countries."

In anticipation of the price rises, many tour companies have started to cut down on their expenses.

Vietnames touristMany of these businesses used to provide bonuses to their staff by paying for trips to holiday destinations, but this practice is becoming less common due to rising air fares, said tour operators.

To help tourism companies overcome the challenge of rising fares, operators suggest the Government carefully consider the implications of increasing the ceiling price for air fares at this moment.

"Price is so important in the tourism sector," said Luat. "It creates competitiveness."

"While air fares must increase eventually, the gap between fare increases must be at least 24 months because we have to advertise and promote tours well in advance."

In May, the ceiling price for air fares was raised by 20 per cent.

Late last month, the Ministry of Transport granted in-principle approval to a proposal for Vietnam Airlines to raise the ceiling price by 1.5 times over current fare levels.

If the new levels are approved, the price for return air fare between Ha Noi-HCM City will be about VND8 million (US$380).

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