A “scenario of safety” needed for tourism stimulation

Wednesday, 2020-09-09 11:39:33
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Visitors experience hand washing with water from an ancient well at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. (Photo: baodautu.vn)
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NDO – Reality has proved that the temporary economic difficulties have not caused much negative impacts on the tourism sector as the tourism has been steadily growing despite the rise and fall of the economy.

However, the Covid-19 epidemic has not only dealt the global economy a heavy blow but also made tourism one of the most affected sectors.

Over the past month of social distancing, the postpone of all activities in the large tourism centre of Da Nang, causing lost jobs for over 40,000 workers. The tourism in other localities has also been “frozen” to different levels or operated moderately. Many experts predicted that the domestic tourism sector can hardly avoid negative growth this year.

Therefore, in order to reduce damage and proactively adapt to the new situation, once the second COVID-19 outbreak has shown signs of being controlled, many localities and enterprises have set plans for tourism stimulation in order to gradually restore activities, retain employees and create a premise for the development in the coming years.

For enterprises, the second tourism stimulus scenario will continue to focus on domestic tourists and foreigners who are living and working in Vietnam; as well as the discount on travel and accommodation services and experiences, along with the increase of benefits for visitors. Under the scenario, the stimulus programme will not be implemented massively but rather for each specific destination; meanwhile, insurance packages on COVID-19 prevention and control will be offered. In addition, the short-term tours will be divided to ensure the flexibility and safety.

At the macro level, state management agencies and authorities should have measures to support enterprises including tax reductions and extensions, loan interest reductions, debt rescheduling, favourable conditions to access preferential loan, assistance in promotion costs, and supply and demand coordination by economic leverage policies.

However, in order to make the stimulus plan stick closely to the reality of the situation and promote its efficiency, a “scenario of safety” for economy and prevention of the epidemic spread for visitors in addition to the “economic scenario”. When the second COVID-19 outbreak began in Da Nang, the number of customers cancelling tours has increased suddenly around the country. As a result, the enterprises face full of hardships, while many tourists losing deposits. During the first wave of tourism stimulation, many scams of “huge promotions” caused damages for visitors. Disputes and complaints have occurred sporadically, so many tourists are becoming more and more cautious and wary.

It is time to define to live safely with the pandemic as recommended by the Ministry of Health. It means that people and visitors must strictly comply with epidemic prevention measures such as the implementation of 5K message: masks - disinfection - distance - no gathering (crowded) and medical declaration. The hotels and hostels must strictly carry out the registration of staying and temporary residence; arrange separate areas that are always ready to become a quarantine place for suspected or detected cases. Types of services, which are “"sensitive” to the pandemic, such as discotheques, kazas, bars and entertainment venues, should be controlled carefully to ensure the safety of visitors. The hospitals and health facilities must strictly comply with regulations related to medical examination and treatment and visit to avoid passive situation and becoming a hotspot of the epidemic outbreak like in Da Nang recently.

The tourists’ trust in service quality and safety in all aspects is the most important criterion for the success of the upcoming tourism stimulus scenarios.