Tourist industry debates solutions to cope with Covid-19 in HCMC

HCMC Department of Tourism in coordination with Vietnam National Administration of Tourism yesterday organized a conference discussing solutions to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak which has badly affecting travel companies.

Foreign visitors in HCMC on February 20, 2020 (Photo: SGGP)

Foreign visitors in HCMC on February 20, 2020 (Photo: SGGP)

Stating at the conference, director of the HCMC Tourism Department Bui Ta Hoang Vu said that the department has put forward two groups of solutions including the one to work with travel companies, airlines and service firms to build a domestic stimulation program with the discount of up to 50 percent. The other is to solve difficulties for travel companies who have reeled under the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. It has organized some meetings with businesses and associations to listen to their difficulties as well as proposals of solutions to maintain the development level during and after the epidemic.
Mr. Dinh Ngoc Duc, head of the Tourist Market Department under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that Vietnam’s tourist industry posted high growth rate in 2019 and felled into crisis in 2020 due to Covid-19. Some well-known tourist destinations reported sharp decline in the number of visitors. Travel companies must brace for the epidemic and settle arising problems.
HCMC has prepared scenarios to recover after the epidemic is under control. For instance, travel companies in collaboration with airlines will offer discounts to stimulate tourism demand. Authorized agencies have organized meetings to tackle difficulties for businesses.
Mr. Nguyen Dang Cuong, head of the Sales and Marketing Department of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, said that although Vietnam is amid the epidemic, foreign partners regularly keep update on the country’s epidemic control to have plans to take visitors there. Partners from China asked the time of resuming flights to Vietnam.
Meantime, partners from Australia, Europe and Japan have paid much attention to the Formula One Race which will take place in Hanoi early April. These are positive signals for the tourist industry. Vietnam Airlines will provide a 50 percent airfare discount on domestic and international flight routes and open direct flights to India and Australia.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Khanh, standing deputy chairwoman of HCMC Tourism Association, said that the tourism stimulation program should be implemented soon. Some airlines and companies have had their specific programs to stimulate tourism demand and lowered their service price by 30-40 percent over normal, she added.
Sharing solutions to repair damage caused by Covid-19, head of the PR - Marketing Department of TST Tourist Company, said that 2020 is a difficult year for the tourism industry in the world as well as in Vietnam. To keep development pace, businesses must have directions to get access to new markets.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism suggested businesses to head toward Northeast Asia markets and potential markets such as India. Mr. Dinh Ngoc Duc, head of the Tourism Market Department, proposed to promote tourist advertisements on international TV channels and social network.
Mr. Ha Van Sieu, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that the agency will report to the Government policies covering credit, tax, visa and advertisement to assist companies undergoing losses due to Covid-19.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will implement communication, tourism stimulation and advertisement programs, Mr. Ha Van Sieu added.
Some big travel companies in HCMC reported 40-60 percent revenue drop in February and the first quarter this year. Those trading in the Chinese market have suffered 70-80 percent fall in revenue and some of them must temporarily shut down until June 2020.
Tourist industry debates solutions to cope with Covid-19 in HCMC ảnh 1 Foreign visitors in HCMC on February 20, 2020 (Photo: SGGP)

By Thi Hong – Translated by Ngoc Thanh

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