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Jun 15, 2020 / 18:32

Vietnam’s tourism minister calls for more domestic travel

The industry’s authorities are implementing two solutions to revive the industry.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien has called on Vietnamese people to increase trips to locations nationwide to help revive the tourism industry after Covid-19.

 A view of the ancient Hoi An town. Photo: VnExpress.

“I would like to invite all Vietnamese people to explore and enjoy attractive destinations across the country,” Minister Thien said at a National Assembly gathering on June 12.

Thien said his ministry is implementing two solutions to revive the industry. The first solution is to continue boosting domestic tourism demand. From May, the ministry has planned to promote domestic tour packages such as the travel stimulus program between Ho Chi Minh City and 13 Mekong Delta provinces and a joint program among the three central localities of Thua Thien Hue – Quang Nam – Danang, among others.

The minister said that the industry has prepared the best conditions to serve Vietnamese travelers. With beautiful and unique tourist destinations, diverse culture, attractive cuisine, hotels and resorts of equivalent quality to developed countries, Vietnam could offer national travelers pleasant experiences at reasonable prices. 

Proof of this was a series of numerous prestigious international tourism awards that Vietnam won in 2019, including one of the top ten destinations in Asia, the Best Asian City award given to Hoi An, along with a host of resorts, hotels, airlines and tour operators. Vietnam was also one of the six countries with the fastest growing tourism, Thien said.

The second solution is to gradually reopen the industry in line with the prime minister's directive. At a meeting on June 9, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to relaunch air services between Vietnam and regions where no new cases of coronavirus have been detected in the last 30 days.

 Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien. Photo: To Quoc Newspaper.

The ministry will closely monitor the pandemic situation in the world, collaborate with relevant agencies to work out a reopening schedule and submit it to the prime minister.  

According to Thien, the resumption of tourist activities will take place in four stages. The revival of domestic tourism will be the first stage. Then comes the reception of a limited number of tourists based on the exchange of visits with countries that are considered safe from the pandemic. In the third stage, foreign tourists will be able to enter in greater numbers. In the fourth stage, the tourism industry will be completely restored.

“Currently, we are in the first stage and it will take a very long time for a full recovery to take place, given the Covid-19 situation in the world. However, the competition to lure international tourists in the post Covid-19 period will be fierce,” Minister Thien predicted.

In the first five months of 2020, international arrivals to Vietnam plunged more than 50% year-on-year to 3.7 million, according to the General Statistics Office. Domestic tourists reached 16 million, down 58.5% over the same period of 2019. Total revenue dropped by 50% compared to the same period of last year.