When the COVID-19 epidemic was well controlled across the country, nearly 500 representatives of travel companies from the three regions of the country gathered at the National Travel Forum on the theme “Travel to Vietnam – Solution 2021”, in the tourist complex Flamingo Cat Bà, on the island of Cat Bà under the district of Cat Hai, port city of Hai Phong (North).
Speaking at the Forum, Vice President of Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), Vietnam Tour Operators Association (VISTA) Vu Thê Binh said that 2020 was a special year with the pandemic COVID-19 and its unprecedented destruction that set back the tourism industry by decades. The country saw an almost 80% drop in international visitors last year, and revenues have fallen by nearly 60% compared to 2019.
Following the instructions of the government, both to prevent epidemics and to revive and develop the economy, Vietnamese tourism companies have actively implemented many solutions to restore the industry.
Vu Thê Binh said that in organizing the forum, VITA wanted to hear the opinions of industry leaders, experts and executives of travel companies to find solutions for the tourism industry to quickly overcome the consequences of the pandemic.
Speaking at the forum, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyên Van Hùng said that the domestic tourism market is very important at present and is an excellent source of income for the tourism industry. However, the Deputy Minister also underlined the need to segment the market and create specific products for each target group. Besides restructuring, finding markets, creating new products, improving human resources is also an important factor, he said.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyên Van Hùng said that last year, the tourism industry saw thousands of companies sharply cut back or even shut down.
The General Tourism Administration signed 15 business closure requests per day. In 2020, up to 338 foreign travel companies requested revocation of their business licenses, 3 times more than in 2019.
The total turnover of the tourism sector in 2020 is 312,200 billion VND, a decrease of nearly 60% over the same period.
Currently, the whole country has 3,339 travel companies, including 2,519 foreign travel companies and 820 domestic travel companies.
The Vietnam Tourism Association recently announced the creation of the Tourism Promotion Alliance, an independent organization tasked with reviving this sector hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19).
Boat trip in Ha Long Bay (North).
Photo: Huy Hùng / VNA / CVN
At this point, no one can say when the epidemic will be brought under control. A situation that is starting to worry the tourism sector which is already impacted by travel restrictions.
“With a view to supporting businesses in overcoming this difficult period, we have decided to create a Tourism Promotion Alliance. Large tour operators such as Hanoitourist, Saigontourist, Vietravel and Hanoi Redtours are mobilized. Our biggest goal is to quickly revive the domestic tourism market“, explained Vu Thê Binh, permanent vice-president of the Vietnam Tourism Association.
This alliance also provides for the participation of representatives from the three regions of the country (North, Center and South). Its first mission will be to assess the situation of the epidemic and tourism.
The promotion program is divided into three stages which are epidemic period, after the peak of the epidemic and end of the epidemic. “It will be important at every step to make the right orientation choices for businesses and tourists. More information on safe destinations needs to be provided“, Vu Thê Binh said.
Apart from the provinces of Vinh Phuc (North), Thanh Hoa and Khanh Hoà (Center) where cases of contamination have been confirmed, the others have carried out the work of prevention and fight against the epidemic with complete success.
“It is necessary to reassure travelers during this period and thus to warm up a dying tourist market.“, underlined Phùng Quang Thang, director of the tour operator Hanoitourist and deputy head of the group in charge of the North region of the Alliance.
In the current situation, Vietnamese tourism can focus on stimulating the domestic market. Because the Vietnamese better understand the situation of each destination, the epidemic as well as the measures deployed. Encouraging domestic tourism would therefore encourage more people to travel and thus give the sector a boost in the context of falling arrivals of foreign visitors.
According to Phùng Quang Thang, Alliance members are in the process of choosing the safest destinations. Businesses and communities, for their part, will work closely together to select and create the best tourism products. “We offer exemplary models for people to travel which will be multiplied so that companies can apply them“, he said.
The efforts of the Vietnam Tourism Association and companies aim to invite visitors to travel to “green zones”, that is, localities where no case of COVID-19 contamination has been detected. . Travelers can take advantage of this promotional program to discover beautiful sites, including tangible and intangible heritage. For example, tours to Quy Nhon – Phu Yên (with stay in three-star hotels) will benefit from a 50% reduction, ultimately amounting to 3-3.5 million VND.
The Dambri waterfall in Lâm Dông province, a favorite destination in the central highlands.
Photo: Huy Hùng / VNA / CVN
The Hanoi Tourism Association carried out in mid-February a field survey in some of its tourist sites, including Huong Son in the My Duc district, on the outskirts of the capital. “Last weekend, the Perfume Pagoda had average attendance. It hosted around 5,000 people, double the previous weekend. Most were pilgrims. As the pagoda festivals last three months, until the end of the 3e lunar month, we still hope the situation will improve over the weeks“, shared Nguyên Ba Hiên, director of the Huong Son landscape complex.
Strengthen coherence and efforts
“We have rolled out the support program for agricultural products. So, why not another in favor of tourism? The Tourism Promotion Alliance is a non-profit organization. In addition to reviving tourism, it will also help to calm the concerns of the population.“, noted Nguyên Tiên Dat, president of the tour operator AZA Travel. And to continue:”The revival of tourism will require greater consistency and an effort from the various players in the sector“.
In addition, to ensure the safety of visitors, tripartite commitments are necessary: localities, tour operators and airlines. Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways disinfect their devices after each flight, provide masks and hand sanitizers, while tour operators and localities are active in implementing epidemic prevention and control measures offered by the Ministry of Health … All of this will help boost tourism.
Currently, the Vietnam Tourism Association is organizing six training courses on key national tourism markets, new destinations, digital application … Participants are business leaders, tour operators and tourism professionals Hanoi community. The aim is to share information and give specific suggestions to promote domestic tourism through foreign partners in the Republic of Korea, Japan, United States, Canada, India, etc.
VNA / CVN