Hop on-hop off buses are not attracting passengers due to high ticket prices. (Photo: soha.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - 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 Hanoi Transport Company (Transerco).

The main reason for the lack of passengers was the high fares, said the corporation.

Vu Van Vien, Director of Hanoi’s Department of Transport, said 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 Vien, adding that this would take from six months to one year.

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-decker 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 cooperated with Anh Viet Travel Company to promote and advertise the service, leading to high fees.

Although the existing buses had failed to attract passengers, Hanoi had permitted another company to open the same service.

Vien 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.”

In May this year, Hanoi 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 cost 300,000 VND (13.3 USD) for a four-hour tour, 450,000 VND (20 USD) for 24 hours and 650,000 VND (28.8 USD) 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 6 billion VND (258,000 USD) with loading capacity of 80 passengers and free wifi, refrigerators, TVs and surveillance cameras.

The Vietnam-Hanoi 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.-VNA