05.05.2021, 15:35

Safety map needed for tourism to “coexist with the pandemic”

Safety map needed for tourism to “coexist with the pandemic”

Tourists in Yen Tu, Quang Ninh Province - PHOTO: DAO LOAN

HCMC - When the probability for another Covid-19 outbreak is higher than ever, the development of a safety tourism map for tourists and businesses is seen as one of the many factors that can contribute to helping tourism “coexsit with the pandemic.” The Saigon Times interviewed Nguyen Quoc Ky, chairman of Vietravel Holdings, for his take on this matter.

The Saigon Times: Why do you think a safety map is necessary for tourism to “coexist with the pandemic” as the pandemic becomes more unpredictable and complicated?

Nguyen Quoc Ky: Both businesses and tourists have been very confused during the past outbreaks.

Whenever an infection is announced, even if it is one in an isolated area, customers express their extreme concerns as information about the pandemic floods mass media as well as social media and via hearsay. This has eventually led many to believe that the pandemic has spread everywhere.

For example, should an outbreak in Hanoi be announced, most customers would immediately cancel their Hanoi trips for fear of their safety when in reality Hanoi is a big city with many destinations safe enough for travel, but this information gets lost amidst other pandemic-related information.

The reason behind cancellations and service delays during the past outbreaks also stems from this mindset. Thus, with the help of a safety tourism map to alert people about places currently affected by the pandemic and that need to be avoided, areas on high alert and safe destinations to travel to, customers are put at ease, while local authorities can control the spread of false rumors about the pandemic.

With this map, service operators can be offered more assistance. We will no longer be passive and perplexed when forecasting current situations to arrange services. Instead, we will actively know where to take customers and where to restrict business and calculate further plans.

This will also help businesses save expenditure and maintain a steady flow. If services keep getting cancelled after booking or abruptly postponed like in the past, businesses will encounter more difficulties as deposits marinate while short of cash.

With customers assured and businesses actively coordinating their services, tourism can then maintain operations during the pandemic.

Where do businesses get information to plan their responses to an outbreak?

- We have to refer to various sources, including announcements from localities on tourist destinations and other services for tourists.

However, announcments don’t always come at the right time and there have been cases where tourists arrived at the destination only to discover that it was closed.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, chairman of Vietravel Holdings