Reinvigorating Vietnam’s tourism

18:00 | 19/10/2020
After controlling COVID-19 and surviving social distancing and travel restrictions, tourism enterprises all over the country yearn for a fresh breeze of good news. Ha Van Sieu, deputy director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, shared the special features of its second stimulus programme and the hopes for a revived tourism industry with Hoang Oanh.
reinvigorating vietnams tourism
Ha Van Sieu, deputy director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

Why did your institution choose to launch its second promotion programme with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at this time?

The domestic tourism stimulus programme ‘Vietnamese travel Vietnam’ launched by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in May has achieved success due to the fact that it took place right during the peak summer season and its great demand after social distancing. The programme received positive responses from localities, businesses, and travellers.

Moreover, after the pandemic returned in some localities and was again controlled, authorities and businesses accumulated experiences from the last programme. Therefore, we are confident that we can establish safe tourism programmes for local and international travellers as soon as these can return to the country.

That is the reason for the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) to coordinate with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and launch the second tourism stimulus programme with the theme Vietnamese Tourism: Safe and Attractive.

What are the differences between this and the previous stimulus programme?

First, the object of the programme includes not only Vietnamese but also foreigners living and working in the country, such as international businesspeople, experts, diplomats, and those who are coming to our country on one of the few international flights since September 15.

Second, this time, we focus on promoting specific destinations, especially new ones that will be connected to existing ones to create new and attractive products. Within this programme, travel businesses also cooperate with each other to establish a service supply chain, removing irrational factors to build quality products in line with the current tourism trends, such as travelling in small groups and to nearby places.

Third, the message of this stimulus programme focuses on safety. Both service operators and tourists will be equipped with facilities and knowledge to ensure everyone’s security. Furthermore, with this programme, businesses commit to more flexible conditions for customers when it comes to delays, cancellations, and other changes, so that services remain flexible and convenient for every visitor.

This time the promotion focuses less on the quantity of travellers and more on the quality of services and experiences. We expect that travellers will perceive these offers as satisfying and enjoyable and hope to thereby guarantee the necessary conditions to welcome international tourists as soon as possible.

Vietnam has started to reopen international routes. What does this mean for the recovery of the international tourist market?

Revenue from international markets accounts for a large proportion of the local tourism industry. Therefore, opening international commercial routes was necessary and urgent. Moreover, aviation and tourism are the two industries that have been most severely damaged by the pandemic, and it is expected that a recovery of the aviation industry will also lead to a rebound in the tourism industry. The reopening of these routes has created favourable conditions to reconnect Vietnam with the global market and present the country as a safe destination.

Supposing that international tourists can travel to Vietnam again by the end of the year, what are your expectations regarding the impact of the new stimulus programme?

Reconnecting flights is the first step for re-establishing international travel – a process that includes disease control procedures as well as additional preparations to welcome and serve guests in the safest possible way. VNAT hopes that by stimulating the domestic market also for expats and migrants in the country, we create the right prerequisites for further reconnecting international routes and preparing additional exploitation of prospective markets outside of Vietnam, with a focus on those countries and territories that have been controlling the pandemic well.

However, international tourism cannot reopen if we do not operate properly and safely in the domestic market. Thus, safety comes first, and it starts at each tourism business. We must be calm, cautious, and prepare resources well, while strengthening service providers’ solidarity and apply technology where suitable to build high-quality and sustainable tourism products.

By Hoang Oanh

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