Hanoi's tourism authorities will focus on attracting domestic travelers in post-Covid-19 as the country is still cautious about reopening borders to foreign tourists.
|Temple of Literature. Photo: Vietnamoimoi|
As tourism has become a driving force of the local economy, the city’s tourism authorities would step up efforts to stimulate domestic tourism from now until the end of the year, according to Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Tran Duc Hai.
The city targets to welcome 10-11 million domestic tourists in the remaining months of 2020, higher than the same period of 2019, according to the department. However, it seems to be an ambitious plan.
Tourist attractions in the city have reopened doors to visitors for a few days. However, the flow of tourists is equivalent to just 20% of the pre-pandemic level.
In the first four months of 2020, tourist arrivals to Hanoi plunged 59.2% year-on-year to 3.89 million, causing tourism revenues to fall 53.2% to VND15.83 trillion (US$675.72 million).
During the January - April period, the number of domestic tourists to Hanoi stood at 2.92 million, down 59.5% year-on-year, while the number of foreign tourists to the city fell 58.2% to a mere 964,500. In April alone, tourist arrivals in Hanoi fell 98.4% year-on-year to more than 35,500, leading to a 98.3% year-on-year decrease in tourism revenue to VND143 billion (US$6.1 million).
|Source: the Hanoi Department of Tourism. Chart: Nhat Minh|
The city’s tourism reactivation will go hand in hand with ensuring safety for visitors in the new normal, Hai said. A number of programs will be rolled out in response to the national program “Vietnamese People Travel in Vietnam” launched by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The city’s tourism sector will focus on building Hanoi into an attractive destination with the motto “safe – friendly – quality – attractive” as well as provide guidelines on reopening procedures to places of interest so as to comply with the preventive measures against Covid-19.
For the recovery of the local tourism industry, the sector focuses on rebates and demand stimulation while still ensuring quality and diversification of tourism products. The city’s tourism authorities have identified cultural tourism as an advantage. My Duc and Ba Vi districts will be developed into cultural tourism destinations of the city.
Before the pandemic, the city’s tourism industry set plan to welcome nearly 32 million arrivals, up 10.2% compared to 2019, including over 23 million domestic tourists, a year-on-year increase of 8%. Tourism revenue for this year is set at VND120 trillion (US$5.14 billion) in revenue, up 12.3% - 15.5% compared to 2019.
In 2019, the tourism sector grossed over VND103.8 trillion (US$4.48 billion), up 34% compared to 2018.