Last update: 00:17 | 12/06/2018
Many Vietnamese football fans have not hesitated to spend nearly VND100 million, or some US$4,400, booking tours to Russia in order to watch the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018, Lao Dong newspaper reports.
According to local travel agencies, all tours heading to Russia were fully booked as of end-April and sold way faster than that of 2014 when the World Cup kicked off in Brazil, as Russia boasts lots of tourist attractions and flight schedules to this country are more convenient. Many travel firms have refused to take any more new bookings, said Dang Thanh Tung, director of Neworld Travel.
Tours to the host nation of World Cup 2018 have been available for sales since last year and were closed two months ago so that the tour operators could carry out visa procedures and relevant services on time. As shared by football fans, the upcoming football tours also give them good opportunities to visit lots of destinations such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Kizhi Island.
Nguyen Thanh Trang, an executive at Vietnam Travel, said that tours to Russia at this time have attracted many customers, partly owing to the Russian Embassy in Vietnam issuing policies to ease visa procedures. For example, Vietnamese people can apply for visa online or even just show their flight tickets proving departure and arrival times, hotel address, and World Cup tickets in order to get free visas valid for one month.
A tour will cost some VND70 million on average for an eight-day trip, excluding football tickets.
One representative of Vietravel, a local ticket distributor of FIFA, said that the firm will serve over 600 passengers going in 25 groups, and such trips also include two chartered yachts carrying around 200 people for sightseeing on the Volga river during the sporting event. The source said that the tour price varies between VND74 million to VND80 million.
The tour operator VYC Travel sells a Vietnam-Russia tour at between VND68 million and VND80 million, while that of Saigontourist is at VND79.9 million.
Earlier, FIFA authorized several agencies as its ticket retailers in Southeast Asia. Buyers can avoid fake tickets if purchasing via these agencies as they will get a verified code called FanID, which can be considered equivalent to a visa entering Russia, and they can use public vehicles for free during the event by showing the FanID.