As the first industry to plunge due to Covid19, tourism is expected to be the first industry to rebound in the pandemic aftermath. Vietnamese travel businesses have presented enticing tour packages to domestic destinations this traveling season.

 Photo: VGP

With no end of the pandemic insight in the next three months and world tourism activities are being paralyzed, traveling inside the country is seen as a way-out to save airlines and travel businesses.  

And catering to the leisure need of Vietnamese travelers is the competition of around 2,700 tour operators serving inbound and outbound tourism. A series of offerings at reasonable price have been released to lure domestic tourists after the social distancing period ends and air transport has been normalized. 

According to VietSense Travel’s CEO Nguyen Van Tai, tour operators are able to offer products at discounted prices thanks to promotion programs launched by airlines and hotels who sacrifice profits to build customer base. 

However, tourism rebound is predicted to be tough as the summer vacation would be very short due to the long school and work break to curb Covid 19 pandemic. 

Diverse options are there for domestic tourists to travel at reasonable costs, according to local insiders. In the new normal context, local people will prefer to travel freestyle or with families and friends using family vehicles. 

The Vietnam Tourism Association plans to organize the launching ceremony of tourism stimulus program in all three regions across the country in mid-May. There will be two options of tour prices. The first one is 20 - 30% cheaper than regular tours but the service quality remains unchanged. The second is to keep the price but increase the premium service for guests.

Vietnam tourism industry cautiously reopens to foreign visitors

The country sticks to the goals of developing the economy, preventing the disease and restoring socio-economic activities in the new normalcy.

Vietnam is considering resuming of inbound tourism, targeting source markets that have managed to control the Covid-19 pandemic, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting with the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on May 15.

Prime Minister Phuc stressed that Vietnam has succeeded in putting the pandemic under control and spoke highly of the efforts by the health sector at all levels to prevent and contain Covid-19, ensuring no infections in the community over the past 29 days. 

Tourism has become a driving force of the Vietnamese economy. Last year, the country received a record of 18 million foreign visitors, an increase of 16% against 2018 and expected to see 20.5 million coming this year. However, this ambitious plan has been thwarted by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Vietnam welcomed only 3.7 million foreign tourists in the first four months of 2020, a year-on-year decline of 37.8%, according to the General Statistics Office. Around 26,200 international visitors arrived in Vietnam in April, down 94.2% against March and 98.2% year-on-year. 

 

The decline in arrivals is attributable to travel restrictions and fears over novel coronavirus infection around the globle.

Dramatic drops were seen in major markets such as China, South Korea, Japan, Europe and the US.

The tourism industry is in a dire situation due to the government’s strong measures to cope with the pandemic such as suspending visa exemption and issuance, banning all foreign arrivals from March 23, tracking down all entrants from March 8, closing all catering services in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from March 28, and stopping international flights and limiting public transport.

At a press conference on May 14, Spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang said the country could gradually open doors to foreign entrants on dependence of the pandemic evolution.

Currently, many travel businesses have participated in promotional programs to attract local travelers, while the international market is at a standstill due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Contest open for videos that inspire travellers to explore Vietnam

Local people and foreigners aged 18 years or older are invited to take part in a video-making contest to inspire people to travel around the country.

The competition was launched on May 15 by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) in partnership with national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, the UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club, and Mr.Linh’s Adventures.

It is also in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Vietnam’s tourism industry on July 9, said VNAT Deputy Director Ha Van Sieu, adding that after six decades Vietnam is now renowned globally for its natural beauty and distinctive culture.

Organisers expect the contest will help inspire a love of and desire for exploring Vietnam among travellers.

Each contestant can submit a maximum of five video clips, no shorter than 30 seconds nor longer than two minutes, which depict Vietnam’s beautiful destinations, people, and culture and tell interesting stories about travelling around the country.

Entries will be accepted until June 15 and winners announced on VNAT’s official website – www.vietnamtourism.gov.vn – in mid-July./.Hanoitimes/VNA

Nhat Minh-Cong Tho

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