Travel companies have rolled out several new tours during the upcoming Liberation Day (April 30) and Labour Day (May 1) holidays.

Nguyen Cong Hoan, deputy director of Hanoi Redtour Company, said accommodation and travel prices are up 20 to 30 percent. "Travel agencies have to increase their prices by 15 to 50 percent to make a profit while still keeping their tours affordable."

Hoan's company offers around nine domestic tours, mostly to famous sites in Quang Ninh, Da Nang, and Phu Yen provinces, and many to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Europe.

They are more than 70 percent full, he said.

Despite the higher prices, the number of people opting to travel during the holidays is up 10 to 15 per cent from last year, HCM City tourist companies reported.

Leading operators like Saigontourist, Vietravel, and Fiditourist hope to attract a large number of local tourists this season.

At prices ranging from 3.5 million to 5.7 million VND exclusive of train and air tickets, tours to Da Lat, Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, and Phu Quoc are the most popular.

Many young people are opting for tours to popular northern spots like Phu Tho, Sa Pa, and Ha Long, even though they cost at least 5 million VND.

Many workers, students, and teachers are interested in two-day tours to Vung Tau, Binh Chau, and Tay Ninh that cost just 1.2 million VND.

Saigontourist is also offering new tours to Can Gio, Cu Chi, and Binh Duong where visitors will be taken to sites on rivers by boat.

The company hopes to serve 14,000 customers this holiday, 38 percent higher than last.

Vietravel offers around 100 domestic and outbound tours and the company hopes to sell them to 20,000 people, 35 percent more than last year.

Tourist companies are focusing on tours to Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia where Vietnamese do not need entry visas. Four-day tours costing around 12 million are attracting wealthier families.

Green tours and home-stay trips to remote communities costing 1.2 million to 2 million VND are also popular.

With its marvellous landscapes, Sa Pa is becoming one of the country's hottest tourist attractions.

All hotels and guest houses in the mountain town were fully booked for he holidays as long ago as last month.

Tran Huu Son, director of the Sa Pa Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the town hopes to attract one million visitors this year.

Theme parks and amusement centres in HCM City like Suoi Tien Tourist Site and Dam Sen Park have announced live music and comedy shows and dragon dance performances to attract visitors./.