The tourists are back
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is a major shock to the tourism industry worldwide. Vietnamese tourism has also inevitably suffered from it since the Lunar New Year. From the last days of January to early February 2020, the tourist attractions and entertainment areas all fell into a deserted state, many festivals and cultural activities were canceled, many tourists called their tours off and many hotels were empty... But in recent days, when efforts to control and prevent epidemics have been carried out quickly and thoroughly to bring optimistic results, there are many signaling that Vietnam's tourism industry is gradually "warming up".
According to a preliminary survey of Khanh Hoa province, the number of Russian tourists, which ranked second after China, has remained stable since the beginning of the year. Anex Vietnam representative, which specializes in bringing Russian tourists to Vietnam, said that in January 2020, they brought nearly 37,000 Russian visitors to Khanh Hoa. Particularly in February, due to the influence of Covid-19, the number of Russian visitors tended to decrease slightly to more than 34,000 visitors. But the number of passengers who booked a flight to Khanh Hoa in March 2020 increased sharply to more than 37,000.
During the Covid-19 epidemic, Hoi An ancient town (Quang Nam) was a special place to be noticed by the number of tourists coming here every year up to 5.3 million. Vice Chairman of Hoi An City People's Committee, Mr. Nguyen Van Son said: "Hoi An is ready to measure body temperature and equipped with masks at the ticket offices to support visitors.''
Currently Hoi An welcomes from nearly 4,000 to over 5,000 foreign visitors, most of which are from Europe and America. Mr. Nguyen Van Son also said that Hoi An was still "peaceful in the epidemic, it is estimated that the number of visitors will only decrease from 10% to 15%, mainly Asian tourists. In contrast, the number of European visitors is still very large".
Many luxury cruises bring thousands of tourists to Vietnam at this time. On February 19, the super-luxury cruise ship of Crystal Symphony and Silver Spirit arrived at Chan May port to bring nearly 1,300 passengers to Vietnam. On 23 and 24 February, a high-class cruise ship of the Voyager carrying 700 tourists and crew members will arrive at Hiep Phuoc port, taking tourists to destinations in Ho Chi Minh City and nearby.
Travellive+ interviewed some international tourists in Hanoi during this time
In Hanoi, the number of non-Asian tourists continue to remain stable despite a decline. All the sightseeing activities are maintained steadily. F1 race held in Hanoi still takes place as planned in early April.
Sharing about her decision to travel to Vietnam, Anastasiia (Ukraine) said: “I have never been to Vietnam and I am really attracted to everything in this country, so I still decided to continue to follow my travel plan. I am willing to take precautions against Covid-19 during my trips such as washing my hands, or not touching my face, and I believe that there will be no big problem."
Halland - one of 4 elderly Dutch visitors also feels very comfortable traveling in Hanoi: “We had scheduled 3 or 4 months ago and I think the Chinese epicenter will not affect too much to Hanoi. For us, traveling in Hanoi is still very safe and comfortable.”
"Vietnam remains a safe destination amid global Covid-19 outbreak"
This was affirmed by Ms. Trinh Thi Thuy - Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism in a reception on February 18 for Chief Representative of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam Michael Croft. In fact, as of February 20, all 16 Covid-19 patients in Vietnam were discharged from the hospitals. Many provinces were eligible be declared free from the epidemic, most notably Khanh Hoa has not recorded any new cases of the virus for a total of 33 days, whilst Thanh Hoa has gone 26 days with no new cases. Many famous tourist provinces/cities are safe with no Covid-19 infection case such as Hue, Hoi An, Phu Quoc, Quang Ninh, Da Nang and Quy Nhon.
This safety comes from the efforts of the government, ministries, agencies, businesses and people in disease control. Right from the first information about the outburst, disease control and prevention measures were quickly implemented, hospitals were ready, the system of laboratories joined in and the communication was comprehensive on all media...
Companies in the tourism industry also immediately joined hands with many practical activities such as free masking and disinfecting soap for visitors or changing the menu to take care of visitors' health...
Mr. Nguyen Quy Phuong, Director of the Tourism Department said: “The Ministry of Health's well-performing role in this outbreak is one of the most important factors to dispel the anxiety of domestic and foreign visitors. Since then, new measures to promote tourism have high effectiveness." Accordingly, Mr. Phuong said that the most practical measures in near future to promote tourism is turning to domestic tourists, strength tourism stimulus packages, or discount shipping services...
With good epidemic control status in Vietnam, Vietnamese tourists tend to shift foreign tours to domestic tourism. Vietrantour - one of the major travel companies - has quickly launched many domestic tours with preferential prices up to 70%, directing customers to dry and warm places such as Tay Nguyen, Quy Nhon, Tuy Hoa, Da Lat, Phu Quoc...
In addition, the airlines cooperating with travel companies are committed to 100% disinfection of the cockpit. Restaurants and hotels are assessed, screened, strictly controlled and fully equipped masks and hand gel for visitors.
These are timely measures, and for long-term or macro measures, Mr. Nguyen Quy Phuong said that Vietnam's tourism needs to reduce dependence on the Chinese market, invest in expanding new markets such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, UAE, and research and exploit various types of tourism such as medical tourism, agricultural tourism, sport tourism...