Tourism sector needs help to overcome COVID-19 pandemic
13:10 | 04/06/2020

VGP – The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Viet Nam National Administration for Tourism (VNAT) were urged to cooperate with localities and tourism associations to promote domestic tourism in major hubs like Northwest and Central Coast. 

Key tourism sites operate at 50% capacity in comparison with normal time - Illustration photo

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam on June 3 met with ministerial and sectorial leaders, travel agents, and tourism associations with a view to spurring the tourism sector hit hardest by COVID-19 pandemic. 

The VNAT reported that in the first five months, the number of international guests stood at 3.7 million, representing a 50% drop in comparison with the same period last year. Meanwhile, the number of domestic guests fell by 58.5% to 16 million. The tourism sector earned VND 150.3 trillion in revenue, or a 47.4% decline. 

In the first two quarters, around 95% of domestic and international travel agents suspended operation. Up to 137 international travel agents asked for their  licenses to be withdrawn, up nearly three times against the same period last year. A large number of tourism enterprises had to cut 30% of jobs or offered employment reduction or unpaid leave. Average room occupancy was only 20% compared to 52% of the previous year.

The VNAT forecast that the number of domestic guests would touch 60-65 million in 2020. Meanwhile, the figure of international arrivals would reach 6-8 million or 4.5-5 million should international markets would reopen in Q3 or Q4, 2020, respectively. 

As a result, domestic tourism plays an important role when international tourism market is ‘frozen.’

Earlier, domestic tourism has bounced back after social distancing rules were loosened since late April. 

Especially, the program “Vietnamese travel around Viet Nam” was launched, attracting the participation of 15 favorite tourism destinations. In addition, the reopening of domestic flights also served domestic tourism stimulation. 

Vice Chairman of the Viet Nam Tourism Association Vu The Binh underlined the necessity of valuing small-sized tourism enterprises, and community-based tourism sites in remote areas. He proposed localities stand by tourism enterprises via practical measures namely fee reduction at tourism sites. 

The Government is fully aware that tourism is one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as it had over 40,000 tourism enterprises, 4.5 million employees, and millions of others involved indirectly, said Deputy PM Dam. He underlined the need to support tourism enterprises and spur domestic tourism. 

Especially, community-based tourism and homestay tourism not only contribute to poverty reduction but also serve to raise people living standards and build civilized cultural lifestyles in far-reaching areas, he added. 

The Government leader asked ministries, sectors, and localities to stand by and share difficulties with tourism enterprises and boost domestic tourism especially in the North West, North South, and Central Coast./.  

By Kim Loan

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