Travel firms asking for closer cooperation from airlines

VietNamNet Bridge – Travel firms said that in order to attract more tourists, they need close cooperation from air carriers.

At the workshop on calling for investment in the airports of Phu Quoc, Can Tho and Lien Khuong held on July 27 in HCM City

The cooperation not effective yet

Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said at the workshop on calling for investment in the airports of Phu Quoc, Can Tho and Lien Khuong held on July 27 in HCM City that cooperation between airlines and travel firms is very important, because both airlines and travel firms have the same purpose and the subjects of clients to serve.

At the workshop, Tuan asked airlines to improve their fleets and have enough aircrafts in order to meet the demand of tourists, because the number of tourists will increase very rapidly in the time to come.

Phan Dinh Hue, Director of Vong Tron Viet (Viet Circle) Travel firm, said the cooperation between airlines and travel firms last time was not close enough, because travel firms always find it difficult to arrange enough air tickets for their clients to fly to Vietnam’s famous tourist sites, including Phu Quoc Island.

Hue told Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon that a group of Vong Tron Viet’s clients once had to shift from Vietnam Airlines to fly with Jetstar Pacific, because Vietnam Airlines could not provide enough air tickets, though the travel firm booked tickets in advance under the cooperation program between Vietnam Airlines and travel firms.

As the result, Vong Tron Viet had to compensate 300,000 dong to every client, because the clients could not fly with Vietnam Airlines as the travel firm promised.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, General Director of Vietravel, also said his travel firms is meeting similar difficulties.

“It is very difficult to book enough air tickets for the same flights on some air routes, especially on some days of week,” he said.

Ky added that many MICE (meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition) groups of tourists consist of 200-400 members. Meanwhile, on some air routes, Vietnamese air carriers only serve with 70-seat aircrafts. As a result, groups of tourists cannot fly on the same aircrafts, which always takes time.

Regarding the flights to Phu Quoc island, Ky said that it is very difficult to arrange enough seats for big groups of tourists, and it will be too tiring for them to go there by road.

Currently, only the national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines and the Vietnam Air Service Company (VASCO) are providing flights to some tourist sites like Phu Quoc and Da Lat. Previously, Jetstar Pacific provided flights between Hanoi and Can Tho, but it has given up the air route because it could not compete with Vietnam Airlines.

What to do to attract more tourists?

Clodelsa Ty, General Director of United Airlines in Vietnam, said in order to attract airlines, especially international ones, to Vietnam’s airports, the first thing that Vietnam needs to do is to create demand and attract tourists.

“When there is demand, air carriers will come to meet the demand. It is necessary to give clients and investors reasons to come to Vietnam,” Ty said.

Ky of Vietravel said together with developing international airports, local authorities need to develop tourist products in order to attract clients. Travel firms really want to have more tourist products to sell.

VNAT’s General Director Nguyen Van Tuan asked airlines to reserve preferences for travel firms and strategic partners to help them get more favorable conditions to explore the market. Airlines should also listen more to the opinions from travel firms in order to make the cooperation between travel firms and airlines closer

In 2010, both the aviation and tourism industries expect to see high growth rates. In the first seven months of the year, Vietnam attracted 2.91 million foreign tourists and served 19 million domestic tourists, increasing by 35 and 20 percent, respectively, in comparison with the same period of 2009. VNAT hopes to attract 4.2 million foreign tourists and 27-28 million domestic travelers in 2010.

Over the last decade, Vietnam’s aviation market grew by 14-15 percent per annum. Approximately 15.1 million people and 273,000 tons of cargo went through airports in the first six months of the year.

Source: Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon


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