Kelly Szymanowicz, a tourist from Sydney, Australia, expressed her plan to extend her summer vacation in Vietnam for three weeks with her family. She cited her love for Vietnamese culture, beaches, and the reasonable travel costs as the main reasons for her decision.
The growing presence of low-cost airlines has significantly influenced the increasing number of Australian tourists traveling to Vietnam. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 82,000 Australians visited Vietnam during the first quarter of this year, marking a 14.4% increase from 2019.
Kelly Szymanowicz further revealed that round-trip flights from Sydney to Vietnam for six people during the summer vacation cost $6,000, while comparable flights to destinations in the United States, like Florida, can cost up to eight times more.
Another traveler, Nicole Reddan from Melbourne, also discovered affordable flights to Vietnam through the budget airline Vietjet Air when booking round-trip tickets for November.
This presents an excellent opportunity for Australian travelers, as the costs of food, accommodation, and tours in Vietnam are all reasonably priced, according to Reddan.
While airfares to Europe have risen by 63% compared to pre-COVID levels this summer, air tickets to Vietnam have experienced a comparatively modest increase of 21%.
Nicola Carmichael, the director of the travel platform Kayak, mentioned a growing trend of Australians traveling to Vietnam. She noted that searches for Ho Chi Minh City in the second half of the year have risen by approximately 140% compared to 2019.
Aviation expert Professor Rico Merkert from the University of Sydney explained that with the introduction of air routes by Bamboo Airways and VietJet between Australia and Vietnam, the flight capacity to Ho Chi Minh City has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. The capacity is expected to increase from 21,606 seats per week starting June 19 to 22,444 seats per week until September 18.
Vietnam’s emergence as a popular tourist destination will create intense competition with Bali, a favored choice for Australians due to its affordability compared to Europe or the United States, as well as other Asian destinations.
Lauren McRae, the head of the Hello It’s Loz travel agency in Australia, highlighted that trips to Vietnam account for 30% of the company’s bookings. She acknowledged that the competitive airfares offered by Vietet Air and Bamboo Airways, combined with the increased frequency of flights, have created a challenging market for travelers.