Tourism sector takes initiative in developing unique products
Update: Jan 14, 2022
The consecutive outbreaks of COVID-19 have made the tourism sector face unexpected openings and closures. However, the pandemic has presented opportunities for the “smokeless industry” to change its perception, in order to seek methods for safe adaptation.

The beauty of the sea in Nhon Ly commune, Binh Dinh province (Photo: NDO) 

Accordingly, the improvement of initiative and flexibility in developing and supplying tourism products suitable to the new situation, is considered a key step to gradually restoring tourism.

COVID-19 has affected all consumption habits of people, including travel needs. Experts predicted that even if the epidemic is controlled, the safety and health factors will still remain the top concern for tourists. Therefore, the experiences in small groups and closed schedules, with the priority of organic products and “no-touch” services, will be the trend for travel. This requires the enterprises and localities to find suitable products that meet the requirements of tourists in each period.

According to Vice Chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh, in addition to renewing traditional tourism products by adding safety measures, choosing routes, attractions, accommodation establishments and coordinating with medical facilities and responsible agencies to promptly handle the situations, it is crucial to quickly develop and exploit new tourism products in line with the new normal situation. Binh said the new products should apply the power of digital technology to create initiative and convenience within the implementation of tourism programmes, while exploiting the strengths of architecture and landscapes throughout the localities to meet the needs of short-term travel to closer destinations. The sector can develop the products, including community-based eco-tourism, focusing on green factors such as destinations, routes, services and facilities; MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism; culinary tourism; sport tourism (golf, swimming, jogging); and types of healthcare tourism.

The travel trends and types, which are suitable for the new normal situation, were defined. However, how to create attractiveness and differences with the ability to effectively implement tourism products, in reality is a challenge. At the 2021 National Tourism Forum "Solutions for sustainable restoration of Vietnam's tourism", which was held virtually, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Travel Association and Director of Hanoitourist Travel Company Phung Quang Thang, affirmed that the differentiating factor of tourism products to be formed, should be based on the unique and attractive cultural resources of the destination. “The exploitation of cultural values ​​to strongly develop cultural tourism is the key to restore tourism activities in various localities around the country. Cultural tourism creates the differences and uniqueness, while improving the image of many tourism forms and the general picture of Vietnam's tourism”, said Thang.

Nguyen Cong Hoan, General Director of Flamingo Redtours said the tourism sector has been recovering although the COVID-19 pandemic has not ended. Many businesses and personnel have left the market. Tourism activities have been deployed while changing their operation methods and measuring the reaction from the market to make continuous adjustments. This means that products that are packaged in bulk and priced in large groups will no longer be competitive. Instead, there are products that are optimised for separate groups of guests, based on the ability to advise, suggest, arrange services, handle problems and add values in the travel itinerary of the travel agencies. Tourism products are exploited more intensively. Therefore, in addition to tour operators, sales and guides, the travel itinerary will also feature the participation of researchers and people with deep expertise in relevant fields such as culture, arts, cuisine, history, environmental health, anthropology, psychology and life skills. Creativity and professional values will be valued higher than the price factors.

Tourism is identified as the first general economic sector, that has been affected and the last to recover, from the impact of the epidemic. According to Hoan, in the new normal, when all activities are on track to restart, tourism cannot be expected to have a massive recovery. The restoration should start from the provision of separate and groups of services, that serve the essential needs constituting tourism activities such as transportation, accommodation, entry and exit, and commercial service support, production and cuisine. However, these activities must be carried out in a more professional manner. Many new products and services arising from the impact of the pandemic, have been also been conducted successfully by many enterprises, such as repatriation services, specialists’ isolation, the support for organisation of virtual meetings and events, and support for health and psychology care for tourists.

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