Travel firms report surge in tours to Russia as World Cup starts
Thousands of people have booked tours to Russia to see the World
Cup 2018 which starts on June 14.
Local firms said most tours to Russia had been on sale since last year and had been fully booked since April. The World Cup tours this year are selling more easily than the World Cup 2014 in Brazil thanks to more convenient flight schedule and attractive destinations.
Pham Van Bay, deputy head of Vietravel in Hanoi said they were a ticket distribution agent for FIFA in South East Asia so they could organise tours to watch football matches. According to Vietravel, they will have 600 tourists to Russia this time with two cruises on Volga River.
Saigontourist has 15 tours to see a match in the group stage in St. Petersburg. The Golden Tour has two tours to watch World Cup matches which last for eight nights. Fiditour said the number of tourists to Russia normally increased by 15-20% during summer. However, thanks to the world cup that the number of tourists increased by 70-80% compared to the same period last year.
The prices are 30-40% higher than the usual, at around VND60m (USD2,600) to VND80m since this is when tourists flock to Russia to see the few weeks of the white nights. If the customers also book tickets to the matches, the overall prices reach VND80m to VND150m.
ATtravel offers a tour to see the group stage matches and a tour to see the final matches at the prices of only VND61m.
Tran Van Long, director of Viet Media Travel, said it was difficult to organise this year World Cup tours since there weren't many direct flights from HCM City to Russia. The prices depend a lot on the Russian partners and negotiations are tough.
"Accommodation prices are forecasted to rise by 30% during World Cup," he said. "The tour prices normally don't include the ticket prices but the firms can help customers who want to see the matches while letting others enjoy Russia."
The Russian Embassy in Hanoi has provided support to speed up visa process for those who want to go to Russia for the World Cup.
Dang Thanh Tung, director of Neworld Travel, said tours to Russia were the hottest event this summer and many firms were fully booked.
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