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|Golden bridge in Da Nang city (Photo:baodanang.vn)|
Bangkok – The Bangkok Post on May 10 published an article titled “Vietnam reimagines tourism” discussing the Vietnamese tourism sector’s efforts to respond to COVID-19 impact.
The author, Pattama Kuentak, described Vietnam as rich in history, vibrant in culture and cuisine, with striking landscapes from mountains in the North to beaches along the coast. The nation has become one of the favourite destinations in Southeast Asia.
According to the article, prior to the pandemic, in 2019, the country welcomed a record 18 million foreign visitors and generated total revenue of 32.8 billion USD from both domestic and international tourists.
However, tourism in Vietnam was put on pause in March last year when COVID-19 emerged. The government moved quickly to close borders and ban international flights. Its decisive responses have paid off, as the country so far has recorded only 35 deaths from just over 3,000 coronavirus cases, and its economy shows the most promising signs in the region.
The article cited recent figures from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, which showed that revenue from tourism in the first quarter of this year totaled 1.34 million USD, down 60.1 percent year-on-year. The number of tourists from travel agencies was 3.7 million, down 80.1 percent, while international arrivals decreased 78.7 percent.
The sharp decline in the numbers of both domestic and international travellers has sent ripple effects through the accommodation, food and beverage service sectors, causing a significant loss in revenue to 258 million USD, down by 43.2 percent.
The majority of international tourists in Vietnam come from Asian economies including Japan, China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China), accounting for around 80 percent of foreign tourism spending, according to a recent McKinsey and Company report entitled "Reimagining tourism: How Vietnam can accelerate travel recovery".
The report suggested that with a strong zero-case-first approach to COVID-19, a resilient local market as well as proactive tourism campaigns from the government, the sector should be able to recover to pre-crisis levels in 2024.