06:00 | 15/08/2020 Culture & Tourism
(VEN) - A new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam is affecting the country’s tourism sector. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is devising responses to the situation to ensure visitor safety and interests.
Da Nang City and Quang Ngai and Quang Nam provinces in the southern central coastal region closed their doors to visitors immediately after the first Covid-19 infection cases were reported in July.
According to the VNAT, 30-40 percent of tours and package tours to other provinces and cities have been canceled, with the rate expected to further increase. The VNAT is working regularly with departments of tourism in provinces and cities nationwide to deal with tour cancellations and move visitors out of Da Nang - the center of the pandemic’s second wave.
It instructed the departments to activate the Covid-19 pandemic prevention processes in accordance with guidelines of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the VNAT. VNAT General Director Nguyen Trung Khanh said ensuring visitor safety is the top priority, making adherence to government guidelines and instructions necessary and important. The tourism industry has prepared recovery scenarios to be implemented once the pandemic is controlled, Khanh said.
Domestic tourism began recovering in early May when the pandemic was under control, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched the “Buy Vietnamese Tours” promotion program. The program was highly welcomed by localities, travel businesses and visitors, leading to recovery and increase of domestic flights.
In the first half 2020, Vietnam welcomed and served almost 3.69 million foreign visitors (down 49.5 percent compared to the same time in 2019), and 23 million domestic tourists, earning estimated revenue of VND176.8 trillion, down 47.7 percent compared to the first half of last year. The VNAT said tourism recovery brought back jobs and was a highlight on Vietnam’s economic picture in the first half of this year.
General Director of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Trung Khanh predicted countries
would face tough competition in attracting visitors after the pandemic is controlled. He therefore advised Vietnamese
tourism businesses to take the initiative in preparing plans and make good use of Vietnam’s advantages as a safe
destination to attract visitors.