| Foreign tourists in Hanoi Old Quarter, February 2020.|
Photo: VNA /CVN
The same picture is gloomy for domestic tourism, which has suffered from the massive cancellation of cultural and festive events. But now that the pandemic is largely under control, the country is keen to promote safe tourism. During the first eight months of the year, hotel and restaurant services brought in around 322 trillion VND, 16% lower year-on-year. Tour operator revenues are also down 54% from the same period last year. The impacts of COVID-19 on this sector are therefore very significant. However, for several days, no case of local contamination has been reported, which brings a little ray of hope to tourism stakeholders. According to the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyên Ngoc Thiên, the sector will launch a security tourism program. Specific criteria for restaurants, hotels and venues are also being developed, he said.
Based on these criteria, tour operators will be able to design tours, with priority given to short tours for tourists who are not from epidemic areas. But the sector is also preparing promotional programs for international tourists, thus betting on a way out of the crisis.
“ The government could ask Vietnamese airlines to cooperate with companies operating in tourism to increase the frequency of flights and open new domestic routes. Later, when international tourism is relaunched, we can reopen international flights and increase their frequency to target markets. But that obviously depends on the health situation in the world ” , says Nguyên Ngoc Thiên.
According to the World Tourism Organization, 115 countries and territories still close their borders. In this context, domestic tourism remains the lifeline of many economies, including the Vietnamese economy. The Vietnamese government has put in place financial and tax assistance measures for the more than 40000 companies in the sector, which have 4.5 million employees. Teleworking and the reorganization of school holidays should also give a boost to domestic tourism.
VOV /VNA /CVN
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