Some three- and five-star hotels in Hanoi have quickly signed up to the paid isolation scheme to reduce the overload of mass isolation centers in the city.
| Reception desk of Fortuna Hotel in Hanoi. Photo: Fortuna Hotel|
“Fortuna Hotel has already signed up to accommodate people subject to quarantine. We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our guests and colleagues,” Nguyen Ngoc Bich, PR manager at Fortuna Hotel Hanoi, told Hanoitimes.
In the context of the widespread Covid-19 pandemic, the hotel is struggling to maintain its operation. With a capacity of 350 rooms, Fortuna would earmark more than 100 rooms for isolation.
Another three- and four-star hotel chains, A25 International Hotel Group JSC said it will reserve more than 1,000 rooms for isolation and has already been ready for the work.
All A25 Hotel accommodation establishments have been disinfected in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry, Dinh Hoang Long, head of A25 Hotel Human Resources, told Hanotimes. “We give surgical masks and sanitizers to our staff and asked guests to strictly adhere to the disease prevention procedures at hotel”, Long added.
Espana Hotel with 50 rooms in Hoan Kiem district and Lakeside Hotel with 200 rooms in Ba Dinh district are the first two hotels to register to become paid quarantine centers after Hoa Binh Hotel in Hoan Kiem district was requested to host foreign visitors who are willing to pay for self-isolation in the hotel.
Four hotels and other 13 tourism accommodations, except for Hoa Binh Hotel, are waiting for detailed instructions from relevant authorities for being approved to host quarantined guests.
According to the Hanoi Department of Tourism, as of March 23, fifteen hotels with total capacity of 1,437 rooms serving 2,850 guests in Hanoi offered themselves to be isolation centers. The city government is working with hotels meeting conditions for isolation, and drawing a list of backup isolation centers in case the pandemic situation become more complicated.
However, the locations of the hotels in downtown business districts are the concern for implementing the paid isolation scheme as it is hard to set up barricades to separate them from the surroundings. In addition, permanently maintaining health workers at the hotel and setting up security teams will also be a problem for them, a local hotel owner in Hoan Kiem district told Hanoitimes.
Hoang Nhan Chinh, head of the secretariat at Vietnam Tourism Advisory Council (TAB), spoke highly of the hotels volunteering to host quarantined guests, regardless of whether they get paid or not. “They are together joining hands and contributing to maintain the image of the safe country for both domestic and foreign tourists,” he told Zing.vn.
Losses seen in 2020
Currently, Hanoi has nearly 3,500 tourism accommodations with a capacity of 61,000 rooms. The accommodations including Fortuna Hotel and A25 Hotel are struggling with the dire situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the city’s Old Quarter, hospitality businesses have to lay off staff and minimize operational costs. Some hotels such as Rosa Bella Hotel, O'Gallery and Classy had to shut down temporarily to avoid further losses.
More than tens of thousands international tourists have canceled their tours to Hanoi and about 81,000 guests canceled room bookings as of March 9, according to the Hanoi Department of Tourism.
The closure of tourist destinations and catering services until the end of March due to the expansion of the pandemic has also affected promotional activities in the tourism industry and the hospitality businesses in the city in particular.
|Dinh Hoang Long, head of A25 Hotel Human Resources|
Long from A25 Hotel expects the city’s authorities would support his hotel chain the tax relief so that the chain could overcome the tough period.
According to Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ngo Hoai Chung, the tourism industry is predicted to recover in November if the Covid-19 pandemic is controlled in April.
As such, total revenue in the tourism industry is estimated at VND410 trillion (US$17.27 billion) in 2020, VND420 trillion (US$17.7 billion) below the plan. Of the total, revenue from international and domestic tourists would be about VND270 trillion (US$11.37 billion) and VND140 trillion (US$5.9 billion), respectively.
|Source: the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Chart: Nhat Minh|
As of March 24, the Ministry of Cultural, Sports and Tourism reported a list of 156 three- and five-star tourism accommodations with 14,723 rooms registering to become paid isolation centers. Of them, Danang has the most registered facilities with 41, followed by Dong Nai province with 29 and Quang Ninh provinces with 12.