Ha Long tour boats at risk of closing due to lack of customers
Many tour boats in Ha Long Bay may have to close and go bankrupt, said Chairman of Quang Ninh People Committee Nguyen Van Thang at a meeting session with the provincial people's council.
A tourist vessel on Ha Long Bay
According to Thang, 92% of the customers that use overnight boats in Ha Long Bay are international tourists. Since the start of Covid-19 pandemic, the number of international tourists went to near zero while the number of domestic tourists hardly increased.
"The travel season for domestic tourists is ending and usually, we had a surge of international tourists from October. But it may not be the case this year since the situation worldwide is still complicated," he said. "Without support policies, many boats will close and firms will go bankrupt."
Quang Ninh People's Committee has proposed to add more benefactors for the tourism stimulus package during the meeting sessions with Quang Ninh People's Council on July 8 and 9. Overnight tourists can buy tickets to tourists spots in Ha Long Bay at half price. The current lowest price is VND500,000 per person per one-day-one-night tour.
Statistics from Ha Long Bay Management Board show that there are 187 tour boats with 2,181 rooms and 1,200 employees. The total investment into those boats is estimated at VND2trn (USD86m) and the majority of it came from bank loans. Because of the virus outbreak, the occupancy rate is only 16%.
Quang Ninh Department of Tourism reported that from May 15 to June 30, Quang Ninh Province received over 22,000 overnight visitors. Most boat owners have reduced prices by 50% to attract customers.
Thang asked related agencies to monitor the situation and issue suitable support policies to help the tourism sector. Laodong/Dtinews