Vietnam launches second domestic tourism stimulus program

06:00 | 09/11/2020 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - Local authorities and tourism enterprises expect that with the experience of the first domestic tourism stimulus, along with success in controlling the recent virus outbreak in Da Nang, tourist confidence in domestic and foreign tourism will soon return. 

vietnam launches second domestic tourism stimulus program
The tourism industry expects to quickly regain growth momentum in 2021

Drastic tourism decline

Data from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam showed that in the first nine months of 2020, Vietnam welcomed 3.78 million foreign visitors (down 70.6 percent from the same period in 2019). The majority visited Vietnam in the first quarter, when the epidemic had not yet broken out.

The sharp visitor decline has affected related businesses, such as accommodations and food services, with revenues of these sectors reaching VND369.3 trillion, 15 percent less than the same period last year.

Mauro Gasparotti, Director of Savills Hotels Asia Pacific, said that the global tourism industry experienced a major upheaval due to the pandemic. In August and September 2020, the high-end hotels recorded an average occupancy rate of less than 20 percent, down 75 percent over the same period last year. For example, Ho Chi Minh City had an occupancy rate of 15 percent while Hanoi had 24 percent.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), almost five million Vietnamese are employed in the tourism sector alone, not including travel-related fields. Tourism enterprises are expected to face a human resource crisis in the post-pandemic period when high recruitment and training costs will make it more difficult to resume activity.

In Ho Chi Minh City, according to the municipal Department of Tourism, the second Covid-19 outbreak in the central provinces from the end of July 2020 caused 90 to 95 percent of travel enterprises to suspend operations. A few still handle administrative tasks, allowing employees to rotate shifts, work online at home or take unpaid leave.

vietnam launches second domestic tourism stimulus program

Demand recovery

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), domestic tourism will recover faster than international tourism, creating good opportunities for post-pandemic economic recovery. To prepare for this development, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has launched a second domestic tourism stimulus program, promoting safety and attraction as it did during the initial program in the early summer.

Domestic tourism demand is gradually recovering thanks to the Government's effective pandemic response measures. Results of a Travel Advisory Board (TAB) survey indicate that 41.2 percent of respondents are already willing to travel in November 2020; 20.1 percent want to travel from December 2020 to January 2021; 12.4 percent plan to travel on the Lunar New Year holiday in February; 18.2 percent of respondents want to travel in the summer of 2021. The places most tourists want to visit are famous destinations that make up Vietnam's tourism brands such as Lam Dong, Da Nang, Ha Giang, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang and Hanoi.

Once travel resumes on international commercial routes, the demand for outbound travel by individuals or small groups is expected to increase, while tourist delegations and family groups will need more time to assess safety before deciding to travel again. Even so, Vietnam's tourism industry will be able to recover faster than other countries thanks to the safety, effective disease prevention and high growth momentum in the past.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, Head of Market, Product and Tourism Planning Research, Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR), said that the world tourism industry will recover over the next two years. Recovery will initially focus on countries with a good epidemic control record. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism should adopt a common set of standards on epidemic safety for all tourism enterprises and tourist attractions that it oversees.

Tourism authorities are encouraged by the fact that Vietnamese travelers are as keen to travel as they were before

the pandemic, when domestic travel grew from 57 million in 2015 to 90 million in 2019. Surveys have also shown that

Vietnamese customers are increasingly willing to spend more on holidays.

Thanh Thanh