Hard-hit Vietnamese tourism plans for a better future

06:00 | 29/08/2021 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - The tourism industry has entered a second year of crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic with unprecedented damage and no signs of recovery. However, the green economy needs to adopt a positive posture and prepare for recovery and sustainable development.

Support for enterprises, staff

Many localities are reporting ongoing cases of Covid-19 infections, resulting in a halt of non-essential activities, canceled tourism events and festivals, and closed tourism destinations and sites. The pandemic has had such devastating effects on tourism that many went bankrupt and thousands of employees lost their jobs. According to experts, it will take decades to restore the tourism industry to its pre-pandemic levels.

General Director of the Flamingo Redtours Company Nguyen Cong Hoan said four Covid-19 outbreaks have meant almost zero revenues for the tourism industry, while state support policies have been unable to resolve the problems given the nature of the tourism industry. Uncertainty about the pandemic’s development and economic recovery prospects hamper attempts to draw up business plans. On the other hand, the pandemic will greatly affect travel demand in the post-Covid-19 tourism market. “When the pandemic is under control, it is certain that many businesses will be extremely confused about where to start and how to create tourism products to match the trends, psychology and travel needs of customers,” Hoan predicted.

Vietnam's tourism has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic

The government is implementing various support policies, especially the VND26 trillion support package of Resolution 68/NQ-CP, with specific help for tour guides. Vice Chair of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Le Phuc said as per the resolution, administrative procedures have been cut to a minimum to create the most favorable conditions for beneficiaries. Apart from this support package, localities also have issued their own policies in support of affected workers in the industry.

Short-term focus on domestic tourism

Following directions of the government, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is developing a tourism strategy suitable to the post-Covid-19 period. According to experts, tourism will be a key economic sector because of the great number of jobs and revenues it provides. On the other hand, to maximize resources and provide services meeting domestic and international tourism in the post-Covid-19 era, tourism should not be regarded as only eating, sleeping and sightseeing.

Nguyen Cong Hoan added Vietnam must apply immediately digital transformation in the tourism sector to speed up the recovery process rather than applying it according to a step-by-step roadmap. In addition, while Vietnam’s tourism was considered less developed than that of other countries in the region like Thailand and Singapore, the pandemic has brought them all down and given Vietnam an opportunity to restart tourism from a more level playing field.

Vietnam aims for sustainable development of its post-Covid-19 tourism market

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Trung Luong from the Vietnam Tourism Training Association suggested this would be a good time to focus on development of the domestic tourism market for the short term, and adopt risk management methods in response to fluctuations in international tourism in the long-term, thereby ensuring sustainable development.

To best prepare for the post-Covid-19 recovery, VNAT Chair Nguyen Trung Khanh said his agency was providing emergency support for major tourist centers as well as businesses and workers affected by the pandemic. At the same time, it is also undertaking planning for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2045; preparing a draft decree on management models for national tourist areas and developing night tourism products.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung: The tourism development strategy must aim at a

sustainable market balancing domestic and international tourism. That process does not focus on the rate of

arrivals but on tourism affordability and on its contribution to the economy.

Hoa Quynh