Domestic Tourism - Key For Revival Of Tourism Industry In Viet Nam
Update: Apr 09, 2021
Domestic tourism will be key for the revival of tourism industry in Viet Nam, said World Bank Global Coordinator for Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Ahmed Eiweidain his recent interview with the Viet Nam Government Portal.
World Bank Global Coordinator for Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Ahmed Eiweidain - Photo: VGP/Thuy Dung
Ahmed Eiweidain highlighted that prior to COVID-19, domestic tourism contributed VND550,000 billion to the nation's GDP, or 5.5%, so it has significantly contributed to the economy of Viet Nam.
Thanks to the Vietnamese Government’s successful action to cope and manage the whole crisis, domestic tourism has not collapsed so much. It contracted in the peak time only by 25% and is growing now month by month.
Domestic tourism is growing and maybe continues to grow between 5-10% and contribute to the GDP and employment generation.
Viet Nam has been managing the crisis in an excellent way, actually exemplary, one of the best global examples, said Ahmed Eiweida, expressing his confidence that the Vietnamese Government will take the right decision in seeking for measures to gradually revive the tourism sector.
Advantages for VN to develop tourism in post-Coronavirus period
Because Viet Nam managed the whole crisis in a very good way, the country can easily position itself as a global hub for clean and green tourism, said the WB Global Coordinator for Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism.
As people come back from COVID-19 and people from different countries come from lock down, they would look for destinations like Viet Nam to enjoy what we call nature-based tourism products like the sea, protected areas, parks, beaches and so on.
“Viet Nam has these products as one of its uniqueness. As the nation comes back and re-opens, much more investment can be made to improve the quality of nature-based destinations like Phu Quoc Island (southern province of Kien Giang), the coastal zones, coastal provinces or the Northern mountains”, asserted Ahmed Eiweida.
All these places need significant investment to improve solid waste management, waste water management, safety of people working in tourism, safety of tourists, skills development and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions.
As tourism re-opens after COVID-19, it moves toward to contact-less tourism industry such as e-booking in logistic and so on. All of these inform Viet Nam to position itself as a clean, green, smoke-less destination, he added.
Regarding digital transition, Ahmed Eiweida affirmed that it will be extremely important as Viet Nam re-opens the tourism industry and also for domestic tourism.
WB’s assistance for VN to recover, develop tourism in post-coronavirus period
The World Bank Group, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), was one of the first development partners that supported the Vietnamese Government at the peak time of the COVID-19 crisis, including the issuance of COVID-19 Policy Response Note for Viet Nam, which was provided to the Government and the Prime Minister in May last year to show global experience and recognize the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector of Viet Nam.
In addition, the WB continues to invest in what is called “quality of tourism destination”, for instance in Nha Trang City (the central province of Khanh Hoa) and all coastal region and in Ho Chi Minh City.
“We are putting significant investment in waste water management, so basically to re-direct the wastewater discharge going to the sea to be treated to very high quality and then discharge after treatment in the nature-based in other direction”, Ahmed Eiweida stated.
The WB has been also investing in probably all throughout the country, not only the central provinces. In Mekong, the organization invested a lot in water connectivity, in Northern Mountains in ethnic minorities.
All these investments enable Viet Nam to re-open in a safe way, he said, adding that for each province, the WB provided specific advice for what should be done.
Proactive strategy for stimulating domestic, global demand for tourism services is needed 
In the WB’s COVID-19 Policy Response Note for Viet Nam, the report shows that the most direct and immediate negative impact is on tourism, which accounts for approximately US$30 billion revenue per year for Viet Nam.
In this report, the WB suggests the Vietnamese Government develop a proactive strategy through which the objective would be to first stimulate the domestic, then global, demand for tourism services.
At the same time, it will need to ensure that there will be a sufficient number of hygienic and financially viable accommodations, tour operators, and other tourism support service providers to respond to the expected gradual increase in demand.
The focus on rebuilding the domestic tourism market should initially focus on business related trips that are likely to rebound first.
For domestic and international tourism to emerge even more robustly, it will be essential to improve knowledge of the sector by collecting high frequency data through pulse surveys and big data.
The COVID-19 crisis has modified the needs of travelers and induced many behavioral changes. The authorities will need to assess, in close collaboration with private associations, the financial health of the sectors.