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With COVID-19 under control, Vietnam’s tourism sector banks on domestic travel

With COVID-19 under control, Vietnam’s tourism sector banks on domestic travel
Golden bridge in Da Nang city (Photo:VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Vietnam will continue to use flexible measures to stimulate the domestic tourism market as international borders remain shut due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, a top tourism official has said.

Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, made the statement at a meeting of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports held in Hanoi on January 8.

The promotion efforts will be based on the programmes ‘Vietnamese going on tours in Vietnam’ and ‘Vietnam, safe and attractive tourism’, Khanh said, as domestic travel remains the “source of strength” for the tourism sector to carry on in 2021.

Many localities have organised tourism promotion campaigns – like Da Nang with ‘Danang Thank You 2020‘, Thua Thien-Hue with the forum on connecting travel and Khanh Hoa province with a meeting for travel agencies to promote tourism in Khanh Hoa and Hanoi.

Tourism authorities and businesses will also be expending more resources to promote tourism on social media and international channels.

In 2021, regional cooperation should be a focus, while localities with new attractions will receive more attention for promotion.

Khanh urged tourism authorities and businesses to prepare for the eventual reopening of international tourism when conditions allow, especially by coming up with new exciting tourism products and promotion campaigns.

In January 2020, the number of foreign tourists to Vietnam reached a record high of 2 million, but with COVID-19 making its way around the world, international tourism virtually came to a halt with the Government’s decision to close the borders in late March.

In all of 2020, total foreign tourist arrivals to Vietnam reached only 3.68 million, down 80 percent compared to 2019, while there were 56 million domestic tourists, down by 34.1 percent, according to a report delivered by deputy minister of culture, tourism and sports Nguyen Van Hung.

Last year’s tourism revenues were estimated at 312 trillion VND, equal to only 58.7 percent of the previous year’s figure.

Also according to Hung, in 2020, Vietnam was honoured as Asia’s leading heritage, cultural, and culinary destination at the World Travel Awards 2020, dubbed the travel industry’s Oscars, which helped raise the profile of Vietnam in the market even more.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said despite the pandemic in 2020, Vietnam’s tourism had made considerable strides in recent years, evidenced by its sixth place in the top 10 countries with highest tourism growth.

Dam said the ministry had managed well the relations between the three aspects – culture, tourism and sports – and to harmonise them into a “vivid, abundant” picture of the country and the Vietnamese people.

With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Dam said “we have no other choice but to ‘ride on the same train'”, urging the tourism sector to seize the opportunities and maximise the application of technology and digital transformation achievements to enrich tourists’ experience and obtain sustainable development.

Expressing concerns about that fact that the dominating booking services/applications in Vietnam are all foreign-based, the Deputy PM asked that in 2021, the tourism ministry pay more attention to the issue and develop a domestic digital application that can be managed by the ministry./.


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