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Hanoi's Old Quarter takes action to lure travelers
Nhat Minh - Cong Tho 15:53, 2020/07/22
The Hoan Kiem district People’s Committee has drafted a project to pilot the night economy and submit to Hanoi’s authorities.

Authorities of Hoan Kiem district have rolled out a number of stimulus activities to restore its tourism sector which has been hard hit by Covid-19.

 Visitors in Hoan Kiem walking streets. Photo: Cong Hung/Kinh te & Do thi

Serious blow from the pandemic

It’s been three months since the removal of social distancing orders and more than two months since the reopening of Hoan Kiem lake walking streets, but the performance of tourism related businesses such as accommodations and caterings in the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem district is still quite bleak.

There are almost no international visitors, the major source of revenue, visiting the Old Quarter due to the closure of national borders. The light is off at the once bustling hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants which are closing little by little. 

Due to the effects of Covid-19, Hai Dang Cuisine Co., Ltd., which specializes in providing meals for tourists, sees its revenue drop by 20% compared to the period before the pandemic. The business has been managing 11 stores, including six in Hoan Kiem district.

An Phu Pearl and Jewelry Company had 300 employees before the Covid-19 outbreak, and focuses on travel services. Since March, the business has spent large sums to avoid closure although there are no tourists. At present, 70% of the company’s employees have been laid off and are offered jobs as sale collaborators, according to Nguyen Thi Minh Thu, a representative from the company.

According to the district's People’s Committee, before the outbreak of Covid-19, tourism companies around Hoan Kiem lake significantly contributed to the district's revenue, making the district a service, trade and tourism hub. After Covid-19 broke out, the number of tourists in the area shrank sharply, sinking the local revenue. 

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  The district’s People’s Committee has drafted the project for piloting the night economy in Hoan Kiem district. Photo: Vietnamnet

In the first six months of 2020, the number of tourists to Hoan Kiem fell 34% from the same period last year. Revenue from tourists dropped 28.5% year-on-year. Tourist accommodations are closing rampantly. As of April, only 82 out of 675 accommodation establishments were operating.

The Vietnam Trade Union Tourism Company suggested that the reopening of the pedestrian streets should be supported by other services to attract tourists. 

At the same time, Hoan Kiem authorities should renovate the decoration of the pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem lake and Dong Xuan market. Hotels across the district must also actively join stimulus packages to offer discounted room prices while maintaining the quality of services.

Tourism insiders suggested that Hoan Kiem district should also consider cutting the prices of tickets at the relics as well as linking with other localities nationwide to promote the local image, tours and hotels in order to increase the opportunity for travel companies in the district.

A representative from Hai Dang said the district should support businesses in promoting and advertising products through hanging banners and distributing fliers.

At present, the district’s People’s Committee has drafted a project for piloting the night economy in the district, under which campanies catering to tourists are allowed to be offered overnight. 

The draft is expected to be submitted to the city People’s Committee this July to be implemented soon, Vice Chairman of Hoan Kiem district People’s Committee Nguyen Anh Quan said.

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