Even though still struggling with dwindling revenues due to the coronavirus outbreak, many accommodation establishments in Hanoi have shared difficulties with foreign tourists staying in the city.
|Foreign tourists are checking in a hotel.|
Homestay 24 at Ly Quoc Su Street has reduced 70% of its room rate to Kyungmin Song, a 27-year-old South Korean tourist, who is being quarantined here. “Time of isolation is long but I feel comfortable here because their services are caring,” he said.
Nguyen Tat Thanh, owner of the Sunline Hotel in Bao Khanh street, Hoan Kiem district, said three Italians and one South Korean have completed the mandatory 14-day isolation period at the hotel. He demanded that all staff treat quarantined and regular guests equally, ensuring that they feel comfortable and not being discriminated against.
Chris Holtmann, a 65-year-old British tourist, and his group are visiting Hanoi these days and still they manage to enjoy the stay although the city has entered a new phase of combating the pandemic. He said his group are impressed by the services and the way Vietnam has been doing to protect visitors.
Matilda Boutique Hotel & Spa in Ma May street, Hoan Kiem district, where the British tourists stay, has issued a regulation on prohibiting employees to have any act that makes guests from the coronavirus-hit countries feel they are discriminated against. The staff are also required to remind guests regularly to take preventive measures as well as advise them to avoid places at risk of infection.
Some big hotels, such as Pullman Hanoi, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Movenpick and La Siesta which are hosting a huge number of foreign tourists still manage to maintain classy services, besides equipping themselves with adequate medical equipment.
|Foreign tourists in Hanoi are aware of wearing face masks.|
Given the rising number of the infected cases in Hanoi, some transport and travel companies have taken preventive measures such as spraying disinfectant at offices, accommodation establishments and vehicles; distributing free face masks to visitors and making hand sanitizers available in public and reception areas.
The UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club also launched a fund-raising campaign to buy free face masks for tourists. In Hanoi, the club gave 60,000 face masks for free at tourist sites such as the Temple of Literature, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Ngoc Son Temple, 87 Ma May Heritage House, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi, Hanoi Opera House, Dong Xuan Market.
“People working in the tourism industry are together building an image of a friendly-safe-hospitable city in every situation. We hope tourists will feel safe exploring Hanoi,” Head of the club Truong Quoc Hung said.
The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the city’s tourism industry due the closure of tourist attractions, accommodation establishments and entertainment activities.
In the first 17 days of March, international tourists to Hanoi reached 83 thousand, 68.5% less compared to the same period of last year. Only 2.1 thousand tourists have visited Hanoi since the start of this month, according to Vietnam News Agency.
The industry will suffer a more severe blow as from March 18, Vietnam announced a 30 day visa suspension for all foreigners.
However, there are still thousands of foreign tourists staying to explore relic and culture sites in Hanoi. Many of them are also aware of wearing face masks during the visit as they are reminded and given free face masks and hand sanitizers by tour guides and hotel employees.