HCMC to receive chartered flights every week
Update: Aug 06, 2009
The city's tourism will receive international tourists from chartered flights every week since early December under a new deal between HCMC's tour operators with travel firms in Sweden.

Bui Viet Thuy Tien, director of Asian Trails Co., Ltd, one of the three local tour operators to serve such tourists, said on July 28 that the first chartered flight would arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport from Sweden on December 2. Since then, an Airbus A330 plane will bring special tourists to the city every Wednesday until March of 2010.

"We've finished agreements with our partner to welcome the tourists. This is a good deal at a time the number of international tourist arrivals is declining," she said.

She said that the tourists would come on tours arranged by three Swedish companies. Most of the visitors are from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

Guests will have two-week tours in the country including two to three days in HCMC, and spend their time in beaches like Phu Quoc, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet.

"We (Asian Trails) will receive about 160 to 170 tourists per week or half of the total number of visitors from the flight, while two other travel companies in the city will serve the remaining number," Tien said.

She projected that the number of international tourists served by her company in August and September would fall down by around 30 to 40% compared to the same period of last year. New bookings for the high season of the inbound tourism segment late this year are not promising, she added.

"Some foreign partners have said that bookings for the Vietnam destination are increasing but we have yet to receive a good signal about any recovery in tourist arrivals," Tien said.

While most of tourists catered to by the company are European, the company is developing new markets to attract more tourists to Vietnam.

"We have made a business trip to Australia in June and set up ties with two new partners there," Tien said, adding her company would receive first tourists arranged by the Australian partner in November.