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|With more hotels joining, quarantine facilities may become cosier, Photo: Norfolk Hotel|
Nguyen The Khai, CEO of Perfect Tour Service Co., Ltd. flew back from the United States in late July with nearly 300 other people and was taken to an isolation ward in Ninh Hoa town of Khanh Hoa province. On his personal Facebook account, Khai described the facility as spacious and airy, but with too many people in one room, which could raise the risk of cross-contamination.
Khai proposed that while resort facilities are short of tourists, the insertion of guests here ensures both safety and helps hotels to get more revenue during the pandemic.
“Many of the 4-star resorts can charge VND1 million ($43) per night, and people with higher needs could go to a more high-end resort for VND3-4 million ($130-170) a night. Many people who shared a room with me during the quarantine were willing to pay to stay in more comfortable places,” said Khai.
Two months later, Vietnam was set to organise fee-based isolations at select hotels and resorts. Of the more than 200 registered hotels and establishments across the country, eight 3- to 5-star hotels have been selected by Ho Chi Minh City as quarantine places for foreign experts and investors entering Vietnam via Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
In Hanoi, hotels in the 3- to 5-star segment, such as Metropole Hanoi, InterContinental West Lake, Crowne Plaza, and Muong Thanh Grand Hanoi, are also on the list of quarantine points with fees for professionals, highly-skilled foreign employees, and diplomats. This paid isolation is purely voluntary and comes from the need of businesses wishing to have a place with good facilities and services, helping professionals feel comfortable during their 14 days.
Starting in September, Vietnam has decided to charge quarantine fees for immigrants. This has opened up new opportunities for many hotels and resorts, especially in the context that most hotels lack guests and have to offer discounts of up to 70-80 per cent to keep their rooms occupied.
Quarantine at hotels is not so common in countries around the world. In Southeast Asia, Thailand is one of the countries that has long applied this model to support Thais returning from abroad, in addition to the quarantine facilities of the medical and military sectors.
Thailand’s government has agreed to allow a small number of 5-star hotels to provide quarantine services to those wishing to pay with the desire to enjoy better services. From a business perspective, these services are generating good revenue and are expected to grow even more as the number of entries increases in the near future.
In Vietnam, many hotels are looking to become a place to serve foreign guests and have prepared the necessary conditions as required.
Nguyen Minh Luan, assistant general manager of Norfolk Hotel shared, “Upon receiving the news from the authority, Norfolk Hotel has quickly adjusted its function, and worked with the departments to receive foreign experts. At the moment, it is our pleasure to operate under the government’s guidance, and start to welcome guests.”
Dao Xuan Thinh, owner of Le Champ Tu Le Resort in the northern province of Yen Bai confirmed that, instead of receiving a small number of visitors every week at a cost just enough to maintain operations, his resort is ready to welcome more foreign visitors who enter Vietnam for business.
“However, the opportunities for us are not many because there are very few foreign experts working in mountainous localities,” Thinh said.
Meanwhile, some hotels also reported that they are not ready to receive guests in isolation. The representative of the Hôtel des Arts Saigon told VIR that they did not register as a quarantine place because the hotel has no experience isolations need.
Vietnam is once again showing positive signs as no new cases have been detected in the community for more than a week, and many famous tourist attractions are returning to normalcy. Good pandemic control will create a premise for Vietnam to welcome many foreign experts and investors and hotels can contribute to reducing the workload of health and state-owned segregation facilities, while getting some income.