Travel enterprises support Government's vaccine efforts
Following Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính's call to get companies involved in the vaccination program, the Viet Nam Tourism Association (VITA) has contacted travel associations in cities and provinces nationwide to call for their support.
Most tourism enterprises have responded positively.
The association's head, Vu The Binh, said the group would submit a report to the government and the Ministry of Health, asking for assistance in covering the costs of vaccinating tourist workers and their families. “The association believes that the government would urge international partners, agencies, and firms to collaborate in bringing vaccinations to Vietnam in exchange for fees paid by domestic businesses,” he stated.
“Getting the vaccine injections is the main way, the crucial way, to erase COVID-19,” he said.
Foreign visitors at Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary in the central province of Quảng Nam. VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Trung
Nearly 81,000 people working in tourism have registered for inoculation so far.
Bình said that enterprises are willing to support the Government in the vaccine campaign would hasten the achievement of herd immunity while saving State funds.
“We have also encouraged travel enterprises to contribute money to the Government's vaccine fund,” he added.
Nguyễn Hoang Vũ, chairman of Bình Định Tourism Association, said he totally supported the program and has encouraged the association’s members to join in.
“Tourism activities in Khanh Hòa have been frozen,” said Hoang Văn Vinh, chairman of Khanh Hòa Tourism Association. “No hotels have dared to open the doors except those which have received guests for quarantine.
“Only by getting injections can we reach the herd immunity soon and control the situation like before,” he said.
Trần Anh Tuấn, Deputy Director of BRG Group Ltd Company, said most of his staff are willing to get injections.
“The directing boards will ask member companies to contribute fees to inject 21,000 staff of the group throughout the country,” he said.
Mường Thanh JSC has registered to inoculate 10,000 staff working at 58 hotels, 41 of which are rated 4-5 stars level, at the enterprise’s cost. The company has also made contributions to the national fund for vaccines.
Đỗ Trọng Hiep, chairman of Thai Nguyen Tourism Association, said the injection would give tourism workers the power to wipe away the virus.
Trần Đoan Thế Duy, general director of Viettravel, said the company has registered to inject the company’s staff and their families.
A group of Vietnamese visitors is taking a tour by Viettravel in Japan. File Photo
“If it is possible, we want to register for our clients as well,” he said.
The company will pay the injection fee for its staff and clients while encouraging its staff to contribute to the national fund.
There is some 10 percent of tourism enterprises still in operation, though only with key staff. The other 90 percent have ceased their operations due to COVID-19.
Bình said the association is ready to host the annual Vietnam International Travel Mart 2021.
“We will announce a month before the organizing time if we can hold it this year,” he said. “When the pandemic is under control and does not spread among the community, then we will resume domestic tourism activities and prepare for opening the door to international tourists if it is possible.”
In 2019, Viet Nam recorded 18 million international tourists and 85 million domestic tourists. Total income from tourism topped VNĐ720 trillion (US$31 billion), making up 9.2 percent of national GDP. The sector employed 2.9 million people.
In 2020, the number of international visitors to Viet Nam was 3.7 million, a 79 percent decrease against 2019, domestic travelers were 56 million, a 34 percent decrease, and income from the sector was VND312 trillion, a 58 percent decrease.
Some 40-60 percent of tourism workers have lost their jobs or been forced to reduce working hours, 95 international travel agencies stopped operations, and many hotels have cut their room capacity to 10-15 percent.
Trần Văn Khoa, director of Jack Trần Tours in the central town of Hoi An, said he and his colleagues in Quảng Nam Province want tourism workers and the whole population to get injections by the end of this year so Viet Nam can receive international tourists in the first quarter of next year.
Foreign visitors join a farm tour offered by Jack Trần Tours company. Photo courtesy of Jack Trần Tours
“Vaccines will be like both an essential oxygen source and a lifebuoy to save the tourism sector,” he said.
“I also highly appreciate the proper way guided by PM Phạm Minh Chính and the Ministry of Health in prevention and fighting against the pandemic, especially the approach to vaccine sources,” he said. VNS
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