By Dao Loan
HCMC - As many as 27 firms active in the tourism industry in HCMC and the northeast region of Vietnam, a number of local tourism associations and three local airlines—Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways and VietJet Air— cut deals on November 20 to exchange travelers, develop tourism products and promote tourism in order to create new leverage for tourism growth amid the current hardships triggered by Covid-19.
Through the cooperation, various new tourism products at reasonable prices and with better services will be offered to tourists from HCMC and several northeastern provinces, including Bac Can, Cao Bang, Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang and Vinh Phuc.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung said that the tourism connection between large tourism hubs such as HCMC and some tourism regions would open a wider opportunity for tourism to develop.
Tour operators will not only receive more customers but can also easily access and cooperate with local partners and introduce their products, he added.
“HCMC has been at the forefront of the tourism connection for development, while Hanoi City is starting to conduct tourism links,” Hung said, adding that the cooperation would help further develop the tourism sector during the hardship.
Vietnam is predicted to remain closed to international tourists from now until next year, so many local travel firms are rushing to find partners to promote the domestic tourism market, according to many firms. The connection events and activities are expected to smooth the path for local firms to further tap the local market.
Tran Nguyen, sales director of Sun World under Sun Group, stated that the firm forecast that it would welcome no international tourists in 2021, so it was planning to attract more domestic travelers, especially from major source markets such as HCMC.
In the past, the number of tourists from HCMC traveling to the northeastern region was low. However, the number will increase significantly as traffic infrastructure has been improved and the tourism connection has been established.
“HCMC has some nine million people. If the northeastern region attracts one-third of HCMC residents, it succeeds,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen Minh Man, director of marketing and communications at TST Tourist, which is one of the HCMC-based travel firms to join the signing of the tourism connection deals, said that the partners in the northeastern region have committed to cut the prices of services by 15%-30% so that TST Tourist can offer full-package tours from HCMC and southern Vietnam to the region.
Through the cooperation, the firm can also seize opportunities to attract more tourists from the northeast region, he added.
The largest number of tourists there can come from many major firms and groups, he said, adding that tours to HCMC and its neighboring provinces are popular among visitors.
TST Tourist has served two first groups of tourists from Quang Ninh Province who visited HCMC through a tourism development and connection program.
Vo Anh Tai, deputy general director of Saigontourist Holding Company, told The Saigon Times Online that the firm would offer various products and services as well as train human resources to serve tourists from/to the northeast region in the coming months.
“The firm aims to ramp up the number of visitors to the region by over 20% per year,” he said.
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