Synchronous and effective measures needed for tourism stimulation

Wednesday, 2020-09-30 17:23:48
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Visitors to Lan Ha Bay in Hai Phong City before the second outbreak of COVID-19.
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NDO – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST) on September 18 officially launched the second domestic tourism stimulation programme themed “Safe and attractive Vietnamese tourism”, which will be implemented in the latter half of this year.

In order to ensure synchronisation and efficiency, the MoCST has proposed four groups of urgent solutions to remove difficulties for tourism enterprises and employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second tourism stimulation

Through Dispatch No.3455/BVHTTDL-TCDL to tourism agencies, organisations and businesses, the MoCST launched the second domestic tourism stimulation programme with the aim of building safe and attractive products to create a driving force within the tourism recovery.

The launch of the market and the introduction of destinations and attractions for visitors on the basis of stimulus alliances from the previous period will encourage the formation of new further partnerships based on products suitable to the needs of travellers such as eco-tourism, short-term relaxation and healthcare. Travel, accommodation and transportation businesses, airlines, service facilities and entertainment areas should develop new products and stimulation programmes and improve the quality of services and products as well as have flexible refund and exchange policies to ensure the tourists’ interests are fulfilled.

The relevant agencies and enterprises were asked to provide information about services and promotional prices and strictly comply with instructions on COVID-19 prevention and control to ensure the safety for tourists. Localities should launch the tourism stimulation programme at major centres; issue policies on fee reduction and exemption at tourist attractions; support and create favourable conditions for businesses to promote stimulation programmes; and inspect, supervise and ensure healthy competition and commitments on price and quality. In particular, relevant units are required to strictly inspect and handle violations regarding the implementation of regulations related to COVID-10 prevention and control. The Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), the tourism and trade associations will mobilise their members to join tourism stimulus alliances.

In order to help the tourism sector recover, the most important thing is to relieve the psychology of customers and the domestic market. On September 16, the MoCST proposed four groups of solutions including those related to tax, fee and price; financial and monetary issues; supporting workers; and the building of a digital map.

Accordingly, the ministry proposed the Government adjust electricity prices for tourist accommodation establishments in line with production facilities in 2020 and over the following years; as well as consider a reduction of VAT from 10% to 5% in 2020 and 2021, the prolongation of the retirement and death insurance payment and a delay in the payment of trade union fees for enterprises and those affected by COVID-19. The MoCST’s proposal also referred to creating more favourable conditions for enterprises to access the Government’s VND62 trillion support package. The extension regarding the objectives in the Government's Resolution No.42/NQ-CP dated April 9, 2020 on measures to support people facing difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; the delay of deadline pay interest on bank loans; the restructure of debts and extension of loan repayment time, debt grouping, loan interest payment, excluding overdue loans were also mentioned. The MoCST was assigned to coordinate with the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Health to develop a digital map that marks epidemic-hit and safe zones to help airlines and businesses on air ticket sales and serving passengers. Meanwhile, tourists will be more favoured in choosing safe destinations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused businesses to face numerous difficulties. Many travel enterprises and hotels were forced to close, cut down their staff numbers and limit their operations. According to the MoCST, almost all transport businesses by car were temporarily suspended and even completely cancelled their operations. The occupancy rate of accommodation enterprises, hotels and resorts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City reached only 10%, while the number of visitors to epidemic-hit localities such as Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai has been very low.

Managers, experts and the travel community hope that as the second stimulation programme and urgent support measures from the Government are implemented rapidly, synchronously and effectively, Vietnam’s tourism will fully recover once COVID-19 is controlled completely.