14.07.2020, 08:19

HCM City optimistic about tourism growth

HCM City Department of Tourism has expressed optimism about the local tourism after Covid-19 during a question and answer session with the deputies from HCM City People’s Council.

HCM City optimistic about tourism growth

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the Department of Tourism

The deputies have raised 19 questions to the Department of Tourism on how to recover the industry after Covid-19.

Deputy Trieu Do Hong Phuc said in the first six months of 2020, Vietnam’s tourism industry had been hit hard by the pandemic and the total revenue dropped by 68%. “Can Gio, a biosphere reserve and historic revolutionary base, recently attracted lots of customers. However, its development is still very spontaneous and isn’t on par with its potential. What solutions are there?” He said.

Deputy Nguyen Minh Tri asked what the plan for the worst-case scenario was if the pandemic couldn’t be controlled in 2020 worldwide and Vietnam couldn’t reopen. Deputy Nguyen Thi Le, chairwoman of HCM City People’s Council, said the tourism services and products still left a lot to be desired and they couldn’t link the investments together for a coherent plan. Le also asked what the department’s plan was for the next two quarters to recover 80% of the level compared to the pre-outbreak period.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the Department of Tourism said this was the toughest time for the sector. The city’s tourism sector earned VND3.8trn (USD163m) in the first six months, a decrease of 65% compared to the same period last year. However, this was actually a good sign because the revenues in April and May were VND1.7trn and VND2.8trn respectively. The occupancy rates at many four or five-star hotels, which depend largely on international tourists, had increased to 40% in the inner and 30% in the outer areas of the city. That means the domestic tourism sector had recovered well after the stimulus programme was launched on June 9.

HCM City authorities are carrying out many measures to help the sector including some programmes that give discounts as high as 70%, HCM City tourism festival in July with the participation from 50 local firms, co-operation with the Mekong Delta and the Southeast Region and other localities to organise discounted tour packages. According to Vu, the city’s tourism sector would recover to 80% compared to the pre-outbreak period with such measures.

In the future, when the conditions are met, the city will reopen for international tourists based on the new set of safety criteria.