Wealthy Vietnamese turn their backs on ‘boring’ Tet for overseas travel

Nguyen Thu Huong won’t be making the traditional pilgrimage back to Ha Tinh Province to celebrate the upcoming Tet with her husband’s family this year. Instead, they are going to Singapore to enjoy shopping and sightseeing. Traveling overseas allows her family to bypass the crowds, clogged roads and boredom that can mark Tet in Vietnam. Huong, her husband and their small son have also visited Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong in previous years. “I don’t want a boring Tet, staying at home in Hanoi or going to Ha Tinh. Tet celebrations are always the same old thing – eating, drinking and watching TV galas – every year,” said Huong, 30, who works for the State Bank of Vietnam. “Traveling overseas is interesting, and it doesn’t cost much more than visiting tourist spots in this country.” Huong is just one of many Vietnamese people who have decided to go abroad this Tet holiday, which starts on February 15. Many travel agents said they have received 20-30 percent more bookings for overseas travel than last year. Vietravel has received an estimated 19,000 bookings for outbound tours this Tet, while Lu Hanh Viet and Hanoi Red Tour have forecast 10,000 and 3,000 customers respectively. Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan are proving to be the most popular destinations. Rising overseas travel is a result of smooth economic development and an expanding middle class, said Nguyen Cong Hoan, vice general director of Hanoi Redtour. “A more affluent younger generation now wants to see the… [Read full story]

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