In a case of travel inefficiency in Vietnam the government there waited until the very last minute to announce the new official Tet holidays. The announcement that all the Tet holidays will extend from January 31st until February 7th came as great news to civil employees who will be getting 8 days off this year, but the news put travel companies in a big bind. Workers flooded the phones and offices of travel agencies in their attempts to take advantage of the extended vacation.
Business opportunities for travel and related companies in Southeast Asia are being offset by backed up reservation systems and other log jams created when workers heard the news they would have over a week’s vacation coming up. The short term notice for travel firms of all descriptions and service providers in the region ends up being bad PR for the Vietnamese government in some people’s eyes. And the situation now is that most tour and travel booking firms cannot take any further orders until those already in the system are expedited.
Even walk in travel companies in Hanoi and across Vietnam still have 20 to 30 people per day stopping in to try and book tours and travel. Still, most agents and the system have been overwhelmed because of the short notice. Vietnam’s government obviously did not consider the effect this news would have travel and tourism. Most travel professionals there say now they needed as much as 6 months advance notice to prepare for the onslaught they are experiencing.
For those people who want to book travel abroad via agents in country, it seems all but impossible for most now. Meanwhile travel bookings for the New Year to Ho Chi Minh City have increased by as much as 30 percent since the announcement. But even tours and other bookings there are getting backed up. The “booking bonanza” is unfortunately being used to bilk more from tourists too, an increase of 30 percent in prices is in place to maximize profits during the perceived boom.
For many businesses though, the government’s delay will cost big time. With the economy suffering at least three currency devaluations and double digit inflation, proprietors could use every đồng they can get their hands on. One of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the Communist government of Vietnam has come under close scrutiny for allegations of corruption and misuses of power. Apparently disorganization in the Ministry of Sports and Tourism is a factor as well.
Sites like Vietnam Tours invite the world to the wondrous places and people of Vietnam. And now inbound, as well as outbound traffic will surely be disrupted by the situation. Despite the holdups and foul ups, Vietnam is one of those places the visitor never forgets. A timeless and enchanting place and people. Maybe the New Year is not the time to partake of the country’s charms, but partake everyone should. We hope you enjoy the images.