90% of tourism workers in Hanoi lose jobs in first half of 2021
Revelers enjoy a music performance near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Many tourism workers in the city have lost their jobs due to a lack of tourists since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out - PHOTO: VNA
HCMC - Some 90% of workers of travel companies in Hanoi, equivalent to over 12,000 people, have lost their jobs since early this year, according to the Hanoi Department of Tourism.
Under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of tourists in Hanoi fell 25% year-on-year to 2.9 million in the first half of 2021. Most of them were domestic tourists as the country has not yet reopened its doors to international tourists. The number of foreigners visiting the country during this time was modest, comprising mainly experts and workers.
The city has earned only VND8.1 trillion (US$353 million) from tourism, falling 57% compared with the same period last year.
In June, the average occupancy rate of hotels in the city is estimated at 25.7%, falling 0.7% from the previous month and 3.5% from the same period last year.
To attract more domestic tourists, the city has launched a number of new tourism products such as the night tour to the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, which is a world cultural heritage site recognized by the UNESCO, the folk experience tour to the Museum of Ethnology and the night tour to the Hoa Lo Prison relic site.
The city has drawn up three growth scenarios for the tourism sector in 2021. According to the best scenario, an early recovery will enable the city of Hanoi to attract over 15 million domestic tourists, equivalent to 70% of the pre-Covid-19 level in 2019.
Phung Quang Thang, chairman of the Hanoi Travel Association, said travel companies in the city should restructure their products, offer more attractive tours and apply new technologies to provide tourists with better and safer experiences.
He suggested travel companies and the local authorities work together to unleash the potential of night tourism in the city. Two pedestrian areas in the Old Quarter around Hoan Kiem Lake and on Trinh Cong Son Street near West Lake have become popular night attractions for tourists in Hanoi.
The city attracted some 8.65 million tourists in 2020, equivalent to 30% of the figure in 2019. Of them, foreign arrivals were estimated at 1.11 million, equivalent to only 15.8% as compared with the previous year.
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