Seminar discusses recovery of tourism sector after the pandemic

Sunday, 2021-04-04 12:03:43
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General view of the seminar.
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NDO – A seminar was held by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the relevant units in the central province of Thanh Hoa on April 3 to discuss the revitalisation of the tourism industry after the pandemic.

It was comprised of two discussion sessions themed “Resilience of the domestic market” and “Opening the door to international travel – Preparing resources”.

In his opening remarks, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien stated that thanks to the Government’s drastic direction and efforts of ministries, agencies, sectors and localities, Vietnam has successfully contained several outbreaks of COVID-19 nationwide, becoming the fastest-growing national brand in the world last year.

The brand “safe country” adds value to the image of a safe, friendly and attractive Vietnam destination that has been carved in the hearts of international tourists for many years, he said, emphasising this will be a strength and leverage for Vietnamese tourism when the country reopens its door to international visitors.

According to the minister, in 2020, the ministry launched two tourism stimulus drives namely “Vietnamese people travel to Vietnamese destinations” and “Vietnamese tourism – Safe and Attractive”, receiving a strong response and engagement from localities, businesses and media agencies throughout the country. As a result, the number of domestic tourists reached 56 million, generating revenue of about VND312.2 trillion and contributing to minimising the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism industry. This also shows room remains for the exploitation of the potential of and demand for domestic travel.

In the recovery period of 2021-2023, Vietnam will focus on stepping up domestic tourism, while renewing old and developing new products to prepare for the gradual re-opening and restoration of international travel in the new normal, Thien said.

Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc suggested continuing to create imprints on economic development via innovation and tourism development.

“I recommend we jointly launch a nationwide contest on Vietnamese tourism development initiatives, through which we will find stories on how to develop tourism through learning about Vietnamese culture and history. The contest will inspire people in the country and the world to explore each region of Vietnam,” Loc said.

At the seminar, speakers agreed domestic tourism needs to attract tourists by increasing the value of experience tourism instead of just offering discounts, as well as advertising the image of safe destinations for visitors.

Emphasising the need for Vietnamese tourism to improve the quality of services and draw domestic and foreign visitors, Chairman of Tan Hoang Minh Group Do Anh Dung suggested Vietnamese tourism should focus on five factors – accommodation, sight-seeing, relaxation, experience and shopping – to attract visitors to return many times. He stressed the need to offer tourists experiences of local cultural features as well as design specialties and specific tourism models for each locality to increase shopping experience.

Sharing the aforementioned views, Chairman of FLC Group Tran Van Quyet recommended 63 cities and provinces nationwide organise tourism stimulus seminars to gather media agencies and businesses in advertising tourism of localities.

Concerning the opening of the door to international visitors when conditions permit, Director of the VNAT’s Travel Department Nguyen Quy Phuong said that on March 23, the Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to work out solutions to welcome foreign visitors in the context of the pandemic being brought under control. With regards to the specific roadmap, the ministry will implement the first pilot phase using “vaccine passports” in combination with testing and the 5K principle to ensure optimal safety for both tourists and locals.