Outbound Tourism Surges in January

HCMC – The total number of tourists from HCMC and neighboring provinces traveling abroad by air and overland shot up to some 120,000 in January thanks to the long Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet.
According to the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, around 80,000 people among the above travelers have traveled overseas via Tan Son Nhat International Airport, up 20% year-on-year. Meanwhile, Moc Bai border gate in Tay Ninh Province was very crowded with about 40,000 tourists traveling abroad in January only.


A number of large tour operators in HCMC reported outstanding performance of the outbound tourism segment during the Tet holiday, putting the growth rate at between 10% and 30% against the previous year despite a 5-15% increase in tour prices against normal days.
“In spite of higher tour prices, we have sold out tours to 1,000 clients, a 10% rise versus the previous Tet holiday, and the strong demand has far outpaced the supply,” said Cao ngoc Minh from Ben Thanh Tourist.
At Vietravel, the number of customers going overseas was reportedly steady from January 19 to 28. Specially, there were up to 1,600 visitors buying foreign tours on January 24, or the second day of the first lunar month.
Saigontourist Travel Service Company told the Daily it had sold out outbound tours in Tet holiday to over 8,000 travelers, increasing 20% year-on-year. It is noteworthy that the majority of these tours are from HCMC, with more than 180 groups totaling some 5,000 tourists.
Lien Bang Travelink has arranged foreign trips from January 23 to February 1 for a total of 2,500 clients, a surge of up to 30% from one year earlier. Like Ben Thanh Tourist, this firm believed more tours could have been sold if there had been enough air tickets as well as the holiday schedule had been announced earlier.
“We started to prepare services four months ago but still have failed to offer enough tours. After the long Tet holiday schedule was unveiled, numerous customers began looking for tours while air tickets and services had run out,” noted Lien Bang Travelink’s director Tu Quy Thanh,.
The city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism earlier had reported about two million people from HCMC and nearby provinces last year made foreign trips through two southern border gates of Tan Son Nhat International Airpot and Moc Bai of Tay Ninh Province. Of which, 900,000 traveled overseas for leisure purposes, up 100,000 compared to the previous year.
In 2011, South Korea emerged as a popular destination for local tour buyers besides other familiar ones like Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China.

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