Vietnam’s tourism sector is expected to resume welcoming inbound travelers sooner than many other countries in the region will do thanks to the success in containing the pandemic. “Vietnam is a safe place” would be the new slogan, said businesses and insiders at the recent conference on post-Covid-19 solutions for the tourism industry.
|En cave, Quang Binh province. Photo: Vic (Facebook)|
At the conference titled “Solutions promoting domestic tourism and recover international tourists” held on May 21, Steve Wolstenholme, CEO of Hoi An South Development (Hoiana), suggested that Vietnam needs to communicate the message “Vietnam is a safe place” and has to safeguard those who work in the industry.
Sharing the same idea, Vice President of Lodgis Hospitality Holdings Vietnam Craig Douglas added that Vietnam needs to take the opportunity to promote itself as a safe tourism corridor to attract tourists.
Kenneth Atkinson, vice president of the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), underlined that Vietnam could learn from experiences of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand on creating specific resorts meeting anti-pandemic safety standards to accommodate international tourists.
Safety is of utmost priority for the tourism industry when it is re-opened to tourists, Nguyen Le Phuc, deputy general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), affirmed at the conference.
|The conference entitled "Solutions promoting domestic tourism and recover international tourists” on May 21.|
“To achieve this target, the industry could apply technology for controlling the pandemic. At this time, the VNAT is implementing a communication plan on safe tourist destinations to lure tourists,” Phuc added. “Travel businesses are encouraged to devise sets of criteria on the safety and safe tourist destinations by themselves as well as cooperate with each other for better promotion.”
Trinh Hong Quang, deputy CEO of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, added that local businesses should take advantage of Vietnam's successful control against the Covid-19 pandemic to build new product packages that focuse on the safety of the tourists.
Since the social distancing order was loosened, travel businesses have offered in unison promotional programs to attract domestic travelers. However, local insiders commented that this is only a short-term solution. For long-term ones, it is important to lure foreign travelers due to their high spending and purchasing power.
Le Quang Tung, deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, concluded that Vietnam needs to communicate the safe destination images to the world. In addition, businesses need to work together to develop and take advantage of opportunities to revive the Vietnamese tourism industry.
|Gianh River, Quang Binh province. Photo: dimorua (Facebook)|
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will, based on the collaboration with relevant agencies, build a schedule for reopening the industry, Tung said.
In the first four months of 2020, international arrivals to Vietnam plunged 37.8% year-on-year to 3.7 million, according to the General Statistics Office.
In April alone, the number of tourists fell 98.2% from a year earlier and 94.2% against March. The pandemic impacted on the whole tourism industry and its goal of welcoming about 20.5 million international visitors this year is highly unlikely.