With just a week to go for the three-day New Year holiday break, several four and five-star hotels and resorts in popular tourist hotspots are reporting high bookings.
The holiday, which starts next Saturday, has become a perfect opportunity to travel, with most localities easing travel restrictions as per the new strategy of living safely with the pandemic.
According to the Sa Pa Tourism Association, occupancy at 4-star accommodation facilities in Lao Cai Province’s chilly resort town has reached 90 percent for the December 31 to January 2 holiday.
Pham Cao Vy, chairman of the association, said since the beginning of November, the number of visitors to Sa Pa has increased sharply during weekends with people choosing to stay at luxury resorts that are offering big discounts.
A Topas Ecolodge representative said the five-star resort was fully booked for Christmas and New Year’s Eve half a month ago.
However, there were still a few rooms available because some customers who have either contracted Covid or have to be quarantined after coming into contact with infected people have canceled their bookings or rescheduled their trips.
In addition to Sa Pa, Hoa Binh and Quang Ninh in northern Vietnam are also favored destinations for the upcoming New Year holiday by Hanoians.
A representative of Avana Retreat Resort in Hoa Binh’s Mai Chau District, set amidst terraced rice fields, said all of its rooms were fully booked for January 1 and 2.
Nguyen Duc Viet, CEO of tour operator WE Travel, said high-end resorts in Quang Ninh like Yoko Onsen Quang Hanh and Legacy Yen Tu are fully booked for the New Year holiday. Several cruise ships on Ha Long Bay have been already full.
A cruise ship departs carrying passengers to Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province, October 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong
In the southern and Central Highlands regions, Da Lat and Phu Quoc Island, where the pandemic situation has showed signs of improvement, have also seen a surge in room bookings.
Le Anh Kiet, head of Da Lat’s Department of Culture and Information, said booking rates at high-end hotels near the Tuyen Lam Lake have reached nearly 70 percent for the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays. Several resorts in the downtown area have been nearly full, he added.
Le Tan Triet, sales and marketing director of the Terracotta Hotel & Resort Da Lat, said that the number of visitors to Da Lat in December has increased sharply over the previous two-three months.
His resort currently only serves a maximum of 50 percent of total capacity with over 160 rooms to ensure pandemic prevention measures; and prices will remain the same as weekdays for the upcoming holiday.
“Currently, the resort has 100 rooms already booked and we will receive 20-30 more bookings for New Year’s Eve. When guests come to check in, we will support them with free Covid-19 testing service,” he added.
Terracotta Hotel & Resort Da Lat next to Tuyen Lam Lake near Da Lat Town. Photo courtesy of the resort
Nguyen Vu Khac Huy, vice chairman of Kien Giang Provincial Tourism Association, said high-end resorts such as Nam Nghi, JW Marriott, Movenpick, Radisson Blu and Premier Village on Phu Quoc Island have been fully booked for the New Year holiday.
Phu Quoc will organize a series of activities to ring in the New Year, including countdown parties and low-altitude fireworks shows, he said.
A VnExpress survey of 10,000 readers early December showed 30 percent were ready to travel during the New Year holiday despite the worsening Covid situation.
Vietnam reopened domestic tourism early October as the government changed its strategy from ensuring zero Covid cases to living safely with the virus.
Domestic carriers have increased flight frequency between Hanoi, HCMC and tourist destinations to meet growing travel demand during the year-end peak travel season.
Most tourist destinations across the country now only require tourists to be fully vaccinated against Covid or have recovered from the disease. They can self-monitor their health at their holiday destinations.
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