Tourism sector seeks ways to mitigate impacts of Covid-19 threat

Friday, 2020-02-28 17:32:48
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It is forecast that international arrivals to Vietnam in February and March this year may decline by over 60% due to the Covid-19 situation (Photo:
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NDO - Although the acute respiratory infection which is caused by a new strain of coronavirus (Covid-19) first appeared in Vietnam less than two months ago, it has caused heavy losses to the socio-economic development of many countries, including Vietnam. The tourism industry in particular has been radically affected by the epidemic. How to overcome the difficulties and recover after the epidemic is now set as a prime target of Vietnam’s hospitality sector.

According to the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), the Covid-19 epidemic has led to a 20%-50% drop in the occupancy rate of hotels in Vietnam. The number of visitors to the country’s popular destinations such as Hanoi, Quang Ninh Province and Ho Chi Minh City has decreased by around 20%.

It is forecast that international arrivals to Vietnam in February and March this year may decline by over 60%, and the number of domestic visitors may nosedive by up to 80%.

In a bid to shore up the situation, the tourism industry has developed solutions to promote the domestic tourist market.

Last week, a tourism demand stimulus alliance was debuted in an effort to help improve Vietnam’s tourism industry, attracting the participation of representatives of tourism businesses and service providers nationwide. They are tasked with stimulating tourism demand in the domestic market, reducing the impact of Covid-19, and creating momentum for the recovery of tourism sector.

The alliance’s steering board includes many leading travel businesses such as Hanoitourist, Saigontourist, Vietravel, Hanoi Redtours, and Vietnam Airlines.

General Director of Hanoi Redtours Joint Stock Company Nguyen Cong Hoan stressed that it is important to create trust for visitors to Vietnam amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Participating businesses in the programme must provide high-quality services with attractive price while ensuring safety for travellers in order to stimulate demand for customer’s travel and spending.

The programme also encourages the participation of both local authorities and businesses in order to create promotional policies and discounts on ticket prices at tourist sites, and build a safe, friendly, and clean tourist environment.

In addition, the Vietnam Tourism Association has also developed a set of safe tourism criteria to ensure the safety of tourists during their stay in Vietnam, which focus on ensuring safety for tourists regarding transportation, border gates, sightseeing spots, recreation centres, shopping centres and accommodation.

In the first phase, the stimulus programme will be implemented in the provinces of Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Gia Lai and Dak Lak, which are Southern Central and Central Highlands provinces that are completely safe for tourists. After that, it could be extended to other localities and areas which are declared to be safe from the epidemic.

In the four abovementioned provinces, many basic tours for Quy Nhon - Tuy Hoa, Buon Ma Thuot - Pleiku, Tuy Hoa - Buon Ma Thuot, and Quy Nhon - Gia Lai are priced from only VND4.5 million each for four days and three nights, a discount of up to 40% compared to normal programmes.

CEO of AZA Travel Nguyen Tien Dat said that his company is offering appealing travel packages of airline tickets and hotels for ten popular destinations across Vietnam, including Phu Quoc, Quy Nhon, Tuy Hoa, Nha Trang and Da Lat, among others, with a discounted price of up to 70%. The travel packages are open for three days and two nights tours departing between February 24 and May 31.

Meanwhile, Hanoi Redtours plans to launch tours to Phu Quoc, Con Dao and Mekong river delta with an expected price drop of 50%.