Hanoi tourism business hard hit by pandemic resurgence

06:00 | 09/08/2021 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - Travel agencies and other tourism-related business in Hanoi have been strongly affected by the resurgence of Covid-19 in Vietnam and similar developments in other countries.

Huge impact

According to the Hanoi Tourism Department, the number of tourists to Hanoi in the first half of 2021 was estimated at 2.9 million, a drop of 25 percent compared to a year ago. The capital city earned VND8.1 trillion from tourism services during the reviewed period, a year-on-year decrease of 57 percent. The average occupancy rate at 1-5 star hotels was around 24 percent, a drop of 7.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

By the end of the first quarter, about 95 percent of tourism businesses and travel agencies stopped operations or declared bankruptcy. As many as 12,168 workers in the tourism industry lost their jobs, while 750 lodging facilities temporarily stopped operations.

The recovery of the local tourism industry will help travel agencies overcome difficulties

Nguyen Cong Hoan, general director of Flamingo Redtours, said the company had suffered heavy losses from the resurgence of Covid-19. Nguyen Van Tai, general director of VietSense Travel, said travel agencies are no longer capable of retaining human resources. Workers are forced to switch to other occupations to earn a living. If they find a suitable job and have the same income, they will certainly not return to the tourism industry.

Pham Ha, general director of Lux Group, said that before the resurgence of Covid-19, the group recruited more employees to expand operations when domestic tourism showed signs of recovery. However, the plan had to be postponed. The group now faces many difficulties and hopes to receive support from the state, Ha said.

Measures to support tourism

Hanoi Tourism Department Director Dang Huong Giang said the department had asked the municipal party committee and people’s committee to provide support for the local tourism industry, including capital allocation for tourism infrastructure renovation and upgrading.

The Hanoi Tourism Department also plans to serve as a connection between state management agencies and airlines (Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air and Bamboo Airways), travel agencies and accommodation establishments. In addition, the department is working to improve the quality of tourism products and destinations and preparing for this year’s gift, tourism, and “ao dai” festivals. Once the Covid-19 pandemic is brought under control, the department will submit proposals to the local government identifying safe travel areas, thereby helping enterprises create their tourism service plans, Giang said.

The department has advised municipal authorities to issue a plan for promoting the capital’s tourist destinations in 2021. The department has also coordinated with US-based TV channel CNN to select products suitable to Hanoi’s communication strategy as well as major events scheduled later this year.

Once the capital city reopens, tourism services, lodging facilities, restaurants and tourist attractions will be required to comply with Covid-19 prevention and control measures, Giang emphasized.

Hanoi Tourism Department Director Dang Huong Giang said Hanoi has designed three growth scenarios for the

tourism industry in 2021, with domestic tourism targets ranging from 11 to 15 million.

Hoa Quynh