People learn about summer tours in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: SGGP)
According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Khanh, Standing Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association, the recurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused serious losses to the economy, including tourism. Many destinations that have not been hit are also involved in the misfortune as customers request to cancel tours and refund 100 percent of the paid expenses, causing difficulties for tour operators.
During this time, the postponement of tours should be accepted for safety and health assurance reasons. However, the travel companies also reported that tours are not only canceled in provinces where the Covid-19 has been detected, but also in destinations that have not recorded any case of Covid-19. When canceling tours, most customers asked the tour companies to refund 100 percent, just some customers agreed to postpone their trips to an appropriate time later.
The HCMC Tourism Association assessed that travel companies have been suffering great pressure when they have to give refunds for their customers while they are not refunded the advances, deposits, or service payments for transporters, accommodation, and restaurants, especially airlines.
Therefore, the HCMC Tourism Association proposed the Khanh Hoa Department of Tourism and the Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa Tourism Association to convince service providers to share losses and damages not to fine tourism companies for tour cancellation and postponement, at the same time refund them money to create favorable conditions for tourism companies to make refunds to their customers.
At the same time, the HCMC Tourism Association has also sent requests to the departments of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the departments of Tourism, and the tourism associations in many provinces and cities across the country, proposing their support for tourism enterprises.
Previously, the city’s Department of Tourism also said that it continues reviewing and evaluating the damages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to industries, including the tourism industry, thereby it will propose the People’s Committee of HCMC measures to remove difficulties.
Currently, Covid-19 prevention has been strengthened to the highest level by travel agencies. Enterprises affirmed that all tour guides to Da Nang will be isolated at home for 14 days under the guidance of local health authorities. Prevention on the spot is also performed, including wearing masks, measuring body temperature, and disinfecting, applied to all employees and customers.
Travel agencies said that, according to current developments, the situation will be more and more difficult because from September until December the tourism industry will enter the off-peak season.
By Thi Hong – Translated by Thanh Nha
- Tour agencies receive mass cancel requests amid Danang outbreak
- Saigonese cancel tour bookings en masse over coronavirus concerns
- Forum promotes summer tours
- HCMC offers 10-70 percent discounts on tours, air tickets to stimulate tourism
- 15,000 low cost airline tickets, tours to be launched in August
- Travel agencies promoting domestic tourism
- Annual HCM City Travel Fair boosts tourism
- Ho Chi Minh City enhances tourism cooperation with many localities
- Ho Chi Minh city Tourism Festival attracts nearly 200,000 visitors