Reopening tourism: safe adaptation to COVID-19 pandemic, flexible in the new normal
Update: Oct 19, 2021
(TITC) In order to clarify a comprehensive picture of tourism industry after nearly two years of suffering heavy losses caused by Covid-19 pandemic, on October 15, Nhan Dan Newspaper coordinated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MOCST) held an online seminar with the theme "Tourism safely adapts to Covid-19".

Mr. Le Quoc Minh, Editor–in-Chief of Nhan Dan Newspaper

Opening the seminar, Editor–in-Chief Le Quoc Minh informed that, according to the General Statistic Office, in first nine months of 2021, international tourism to Vietnam gained 114.5 thousands arrivals, down 97% compared the same period of 2020.  Basing on pandemic control and vaccine roll out situation, the Government of Vietnam determined a safe and flexible adaptation to Covid-19 pandemic, gradually reopening the economy. The Government has issued Resolution No.128/NQ-CP adopting provisional guidelines on safe adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is good condition to reopen tourism for both domestic and international tourists.

Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism stated that, due to Covid-19, there was decrease in the number of international and domestic visitors, almost accommodation establishments and travel agencies have to close and stop operating, many tourism jobs were lost. He requested to assess the current situation, forecast and analyze the situation in order to be ready to reopen tourism when the pandemic is under control. He also asked localities to renew tourism products, connect safely. Currently, MOCST is rushing to develop guidelines on safe, flexible adaptation and effective control of the Covid-19 pandemic in the field of tourism.

Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of VNAT

Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) informed that VNAT has implemented solutions focusing on remove difficulties for businesses and employees such as proposing fiscal policy related to preferential credit policies for businesses to get preferential loans to overcome difficulties, paying salaries to employees; proposing financial policies to support tourism businesses by reduce taxes, fees and charges; and proposing social security policy to direct support tour guides.

Mr. Vu The Binh, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association

Mr. Vu The Binh, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association, shared that during Covid-19 pandemic, tourism businesses create many new technology-based products. He believed that in the next 3 years, the tourism industry will have many positive changes.

Speaking at the seminar, Deputy Minister Doan Van Viet said that MOCST issued plans to restore and promote tourism. The current view is to open up tourism to serve inner-provincial tourists, then to domestic tourists, and full open tourism when the pandemic is under control.

Departments of Tourism of Khanh Hoa and Quang Nam provinces informed provinces built Green tour, enhanced promotion on digital platform, connecting to other provinces, and training tourism labours.

For businesses, breaking down barriers, reducing administrative procedures, and agreeing on disease prevention rules among localities will be good conditions for tourism to recover.

Regarding to pilot plan to reopen international tourism to Phu Quoc, Chairman of VNAT said that the People's Committee of Kien Giang Province is coordinating with MOCST and other relevant ministries and relevant bodies to develop the detailed plan and expect to open at the end of November, 2021. Safety is a prerequisite to restart tourism in the context of the new normal, VNAT’s Chairman Nguyen Trung Khanh emphasized. To be safe, there are 4 important factors that are vaccines, 5K, technology and communication.

Kien Giang Province has completed 100% of the 1st vaccination dose for workers and people of over 18 years old and it is about to complete the 2nd dose this October. It is expected that by November, herd immunity will be achieved as recommended by the health industry.

Besides, delegates of tourism businesses at the seminar discussed how COVID-19 has impacted Vietnam’s tourism sector over the past two years and the changes in people’s travel behaviours and habits due the pandemic as well as suggesting solutions to facilitate the sector’s safe adaption to COVID-19.

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