Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The number of passengers using open-top tour buses in the capital was averaging about only 7 per trip each day, according to a report by the Hà Nội Transport Company (Transerco).
The main reason for the lack of passengers was the high fares, said the corporation.
Vũ Văn Viện, director of Hà Nội’s Department of Transport, told online newspaper vietnamplus.vn that “the city tour was aimed at tourists, especially foreign guests”.
“The bus company should develop programmes and work with travel companies to expand the service,” said Viện
This would take from six months to one year, he added.
Last year, the city received 23.83 million visitors, of which international tourists were estimated at 4.95 million.
However, the long intervals between tours was an another reason that passengers were not getting on board, he said.
At present, there are three double-deckers buses running every 30 minutes.
Despite being a key unit in charge of the city’s public transport, Transerco had no experience in tourism so it had co-operated with Ảnh Việt Travel Company to promote and advertise the service, leading to high fees.
Although the existing buses had failed to attract passengers, Hà Nội had permitted another company to open the same service.
Viện explained: “It’s fair for all units that want to do business.”
“Opening more city tours will help the bus companies to improve quality as well as give more options for passengers,” the director said.
In May this year, Hà Nội launched its first double-decker city tour, with hop-on and hop-off at 13 stops, running through 25 streets and taking tourists to 30 destinations around the city.
Tickets coat VNĐ300,000 (US$13.3) for a four-hour tour, VNĐ450,000 ($20) for 24 hours and VNĐ650,000 ($28.8) for 48 hours.
The bus arrives every 30 minutes from 9am to 5pm every day. Tourists can choose to jump off at any bus stop along the route.
The buses are equipped with an automatic multi-lingual narration system in Vietnamese, English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Each bus is worth VNĐ6 billion (US$258,000) with loading capacity of 80 passengers and free wifi, refrigerators, TVs and surveillance cameras.
The Việt Nam-Hà Nội Tourism Stock Company is the second business to be permitted to run open-top city tours.
The new route will run 14.8km with 10 stops, operating from 9am to 5.30pm every day.
The company has yet to announce tickets prices, but a representative said they would not be subsidised but calculated to ensure profit and market competitiveness. — VNS