Tour firms expected the event to attract more international tourists to the country. Many three-to-five star hotels in the city are already fully booked, prompting tour operators to seek partnerships with newly opened three-star hotels that are still building their businesses.
Room rates recorded at several five-star hotels during the event, taking place between April 3 and 5, are two- to threefold higher than on other days. Some of these hotels are even offering rooms for VND17-18 million per night, said Bui Viet Thuy Tien, managing director of Asian Trails Company.
Accordingly, her firm has only arranged incentive tours for tourist groups on the occasion. Tours for regular tourists are impossible to design because of soaring hotel room charges.
Room rates at other destinations are often raised during large events but are not tripled like those in Hanoi, Tien added.
As a result of the excessive hotel room fees, some Finnish tourists decided to attend a similar F1 event in China’s Shanghai, instead of Hanoi.
Pham Ha, CEO of Luxury Travel Group, said that he had to book rooms and make full payments for customers visiting the city during the event and pledged not to cancel his bookings or ask for a refund.
At the time of booking, the price of each five-star hotel room was listed at US$200-US$300 per night but has now risen to US$400-US$600, Ha noted.
Another businesswoman also voiced concern over the shortage of hotel rooms during the F1 season in Hanoi.
Regular tourists were advised to visit the capital city on other days or to stay overnight in Ha Long or Ninh Binh. However, it is not easy to find available rooms for tourists who wish to spend all their time in Hanoi.
The capital city typically faces a hotel under-supply during major events. Two years ago, tour operators were desperate to find rooms for their customers attending a local APEC forum, she added.