JuliaN Wong, General manager, Sheraton Hanoi
This festive season the peak days fall into weekdays – Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will be on Mondays.
All of our hotel activities will be expanded to cover the weekends and weekdays. Guests will enjoy more celebratory activities for this festive season at Sheraton Hanoi Hotel. As we commit to an international service culture of personalised and memorable experiences through Hanoi’s gracefulness, ethnic cuisine, innovation and green practices that promises satisfaction, Sheraton Hanoi is proud to be the favourite destination of travellers.
This year, we forecast an increase in leisure business for rooms besides expecting a stronger year end and festive season business for outlets and banquets – most notably yearend parties and weddings. Our hotel also forecast a slowdown in terms of business travellers as expected over those periods but overall, we have still seen a positive trend.
Julien Pechey, General manager, Mercure Danang French Village Bana Hills
We are sold out for the last seven days of the year with an average of 800 persons daily. Unfortunately, we keep receiving phone calls and emails requesting rooms, but we recommend they come in January or February, although a fast decision is still required as demand is still very high then.
It is completely different in term of mix of nationalities and more international this year. The average length of stay has increased with more and more customers intending to stay two or even three nights.
We have developed many activities and services which we did not have last year, such as a spa, evening live band, pool, and cinema. Last week we opened a new area dedicated to traditional French games from last century and mini indoor golf alongside a badminton field and table tennis room.
Our guests enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in the evening after 6pm and early sunrise over the sea, usually at around 5.30am, to listen to the wake-up of nature. It’s a magical place where you feel you can touch the stars.
My favourite recommendation is to come and enjoy the unique full moon rise. It’s very romantic to walk in the empty streets and you feel like the hills belong to you.
Pham Thu Huong, Senior product consultant, Eviva Tour Vietnam
The tourism industry in Vietnam has achieved impressive results, attracting a record 15 million foreign visitors in 2018. Compared to this time last year, the number of foreign visitors booking tours at Eviva Tour has increased by 10-12 per cent.
Visitor spending is also expected to increase by 8-10 per cent. This year Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year holidays are quite close together, so visitors may have more time for their trip. They also want to have more special and interesting experiences to learn about traditional cultures or join festivals at each destination.
We plan to offer more activities such as flower villages or traditional craft villages such as those making joss sticks and incense papers, for example.
Linh Le, Marketing manager, Everland Travel
The number of international visitors to Everland Travel during Christmas and New Year holidays has increased by 12 per cent over the same period last year, but this is an average annual increase rather than a surge.
At any time, visitors also want to experience new and attractive products. However, we do not yet have any truly new types of tourism, or really outstanding activities like other countries in the region.
But what we can do is focus on improving the quality and sophistication of existing products to meet the higher requirements of visitors, such as providing a more diverse dining experience, and using limousines instead of ordinary cars to make visitors more comfortable while on the move.
Travellers to Vietnam tend to experience more, so their spending on shopping and dining also increases as compared to spending on accommodation.
Nguyen Manh Linh, Inbound manager, Asiana Travel
At this time, the number of European tourists booking tours at Asiana Travel between December 2018 and February 2019 increased by 30 per cent over the same period last year.
The group of unmarried guests from 30 to 35 years old account for 70 per cent of the total guests booking tours, while the remaining 30 per cent are married people between the ages of 30 and 45 and are often accompanied by their children.
Like every year, visitors still want to enjoy the atmosphere of Christmas and New Year in big cities and tourist sites in Vietnam. These destinations often bring a variety of special events to promote the brands and stimulate shopping and entertainment for locals and international visitors. However, about 3 to 5 per cent of our guests choose longer stays at the southern beaches to catch the sun rather than moving a lot across cities.
European tourists will also often spend more on food than shopping.
Nathanael Rolland , from France
During this period, I really like going out more than usual. The weather gets cooler but not too cold and wet, and there are no snow storms.
It’s the best time for having fun with friends and sharing the Christmas spirit together.
A special thing during this season is undeniably driving a motorbike at night through all the lights of Hanoi. It’s like the city is ready to welcome 2019 with joy and happiness.
Alexandra Schneider, from Germany
I enjoy Christmas in Hoi An, as it means I can avoid the colder weather in Germany. In Vietnam, we have not seen the atmosphere of Christmas and New Year holiday, which is a lot different from our country.
In Germany, the Christian holiday is really a big thing because on this occasion, people will go shopping and visit markets.
Then, families will come together and celebrate the end of the year. I’m pretty sure that I will come back to Vietnam over the next Christmas holiday, but I will try out the country’s southern regions to enjoy the atmosphere there.
Chris Steigerwald, from Germany
The decorations are pretty much the same as those in any places around the world, there are Christmas trees but many of them are not similar in style to Germany. We found a German Christmas market here which was pretty funny for me. They also sell sausages and other German foodstuffs, which was really interesting. I really like the atmosphere. It’s dense and bustling here.
During Christmas time, I have always been in Germany. Over there it’s normally snowy and really cold, only a few degrees. It has never been this warm during this time of the year. Also in Germany, there are more choirs with a lot of people singing Christmas carols.
I think the atmosphere is different because there are more people, which makes things really nice and cosy. I really love being in Vietnam for Christmas.
Christa Mühlemann, from Switzerland
In Vietnam you can really see plenty of Christmas decorations, I think it’s very nice, I don’t get the Christmas feeling completely though because it’s warm here, and where I come from, it’s mostly snowy in December.
However I think here you decorate more than in Switzerland – we don’t have a lot of decorations saying Merry Christmas but I think it’s very interesting here.
I was once in London over Christmas and the city was covered in decorations.
Lisa Bennett, from Canada
I moved from India to Vietnam and there was no Christmas atmosphere in India. Here you have quite a lot of Christmas trees and I get more of a festive feeling than I was expecting. Compared to our country, it’s warm and sunny.
In Canada there is a lot of snow, and that is the biggest difference.
It doesn’t feel right for me to celebrate Christmas here because for me, the holiday time is supposed to feature really cold weather and snow, but maybe I will prefer to go further up to north to see the town of Sapa.
John Anderson, from Australia
I have never been in Vietnam before, so it’s interesting to see what the Christmas time is like.
I plan to go St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Christmas Day and we will move to Halong Bay the following day.
Hanoi’s weather is quite good, much cooler than in Australia now, and that’s why my wife and I have been here for 10 days.
In Australia, Christmas is the time for families to enjoy food, wines, and barbeques but in Vietnam, it is so far not the same at all. I will wait for Christmas Eve to see what it’s like then. I already plan to go to Thailand on the next Christmas holiday.
Craig Wilson, from the United States
It’s different for me here because Christmas commonly involves snow but it is warm here. It’s interesting that arrivals can still celebrate Christmas in a warm climate.
I had two days in Ho Chi Minh City, two days in Hanoi, and one day in Halong Bay, and I will also visit Hong Kong.
In our country, families usually get together on Christmas Eve. The next morning, we present gifts to the children and later that day we enjoy a big family dinner.
Albert Wolf , from Germany
Christmas time here is nice, I have seen some really nice shops where they sell Christmas presents and decorations. I really like it.
The difference would be the weather for sure because I’m used to the cold weather.
I visited some other countries a week before I came to Hanoi and the weather at that time was not great, it was a bit colder, but for me it was like Christmas because it is more like home.
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