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Can Tho finds ways to boost airport efficiency

Trung Chanh
Friday,  Jul 14,2017,14:28 (GMT+7)
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Can Tho finds ways to boost airport efficiency

Trung Chanh

CAN THO – The Mekong Delta is a major tourist attraction in Vietnam but the Can Tho International Airport is struggling with poor business performance, according to a meeting in Can Tho City on Wednesday.

At the meeting, Le Tien Dung, deputy director of the Department of Transport of Can Tho City, said over 28.1 million tourists came to the Mekong Delta last year, including over 2.47 million from abroad, and that the delta's tourism sector reported total revenue of VND11.3 trillion (US$497.2 million).

“Can Tho alone saw 5.3 million tourist arrivals last year, including over 258,000 from abroad, and obtained total tourism revenue of over VND1.8 trillion, up 16.1% year-on-year,” Dung added.

However, the business prospect of Can Tho International Airport is somber. “Many air services to and from the airport have been closed, such as Can Tho-Con Dao and Can Tho-Da Lat,” said Le Thanh Phong, vice chairman of the Can Tho City Tourism Association.

Chartered flights between the city and Bangkok have been resumed but it will be hard to sustain it, according to Phong.

Le Phu Dung, director of the southwestern branch of Saigontourist Travel Service Company, said the company has tried its best to lure tourists for Can Tho-Hanoi and Can Tho-Danang air routes but it has been helpless.

According to Dung, these routes had low flight frequency and frequent delays, while travel firms have to prepare tour programs several months or even one year in advance.

Tour sales in Can Tho City depend largely on seasons. Tourist arrivals to the city in summer or on holidays may be six or seven times higher than on normal days.

To attract more visitors to Can Tho, Nguyen Cong Hoan, representative of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, said the city and the Mekong Delta need to have specific tourism products. Besides, stronger economic development will help increase  visitor arrivals as more businessmen will fly to the city for business.

Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said suggestions and ideas at the meeting will help reevaluate the potential and capacity of Can Tho International Airport. The Ministry of Transport will work with aviation firms and others to maintain existing flights and open more routes to the airport.

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