Tourism Firms Join Forces to Overcome Difficulties

10:18:39 AM | 18/5/2020

After a three-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 140 directors of inbound, outbound and domestic tourism companies have joined together to seek solutions to this tough time.

Domestic tourism stimulus

According to experts, the world tourism industry, including Vietnam, will need a lot of time to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Tran Trong Kien, Chairman of the Tourism Advisory Council, said, “The best scenario is Vietnam’s tourism industry can make a V-shaped recovery or a U-shaped upturn. Thus, the market will be first opened to domestic tourists, then to Chinese tourists, Asians and finally Europeans and Americans. It will take 12-18 months to have a full recovery.

However, according to Mr. Nguyen Tuan Anh, Director of the Vietnam Tourism Information Center, tourism may make an L-shaped development, meaning it will take more time. With travel restrictions in many countries, international visitors to Vietnam from April to June will be almost zero. When the pandemic ends, Asian visitors are likely to come first, but Vietnam's tourism may witness a 70% drop in tourist arrivals in 2020.

In a worse scenario where Covid-19 does not end before December, Vietnam's tourism industry will have almost no international visitors and international visitor arrivals will slump by about 80% in 2020. Therefore, when the world is still busy with Covid-19 prevention and international flight routes have not been reopened, domestic tourism stimulus is extremely necessary.

Mr. Tran Hung Viet, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association, said, "It is essential that Vietnamese people use Vietnamese goods and Vietnamese people travel within Vietnam.”

Most tour operators have a fairly positive view on domestic tourism. A representative of a large travel company based in Ho Chi Minh City said, "As soon as the pandemic is controlled, domestic tourism will boom because most people are now very crazy about travelling after the long period of social distancing."

How to be productive?

When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, domestic tourism will gradually recover to the fullest. However, approaches and choices will change. Therefore, to stimulate domestic tourism, it is necessary to build a suitable product system with a quick and convenient approach. Travelers tend to choose destinations with all-in-one products at discounted prices. Therefore, to stimulate demand, tourism businesses have launched many preferential product packages with sharp discounts.

Sa Pa (Lao Cai) is one of the first localities to launch a large-scale tourism stimulus program in the north with local hotels, homestays and tourist transporters offer discounts of 30-50%. Meanwhile, in Da Nang, Sun World Ba Na Hills Resort, which has officially reopened to welcome visitors back after the social distancing period since April 30, applied stimulus policies and reduced prices by up to 60% for people in 19 central provinces of Vietnam.

The Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department has also cooperated with tour operators to launch a series of “Following the Saigon Ranger Footprint” tours. Hue City is offering free entry to Royal Court and Hue monuments from April 30 to May 7.

Besides, according to Mr. Pham Tien Dung, Deputy Director of Hanoi Unesco Travel Club, tourism businesses need to strengthen and promote marketing and promotion. After a long break, people have now started to get acquainted with online shopping and search information via social networks and the internet. Therefore, besides promoting images and products online, travel companies need to build effective, swift and convenient online payment channels.

On the other hand, instead of operating independently as a travel agency, it is common to share hardships, experience and practical solutions such as human resource management, marketing strategy and joint market research to create many new attractive destinations to court tourists.

Besides, according to experts, right from now, destinations, travel operators, airlines and hotels must closely join together to create stimulant tours and products at attractive prices to revive tourism.

Mr. Vu The Binh, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, affirmed that relevant associations need to join hands to promote tourism. Specifically, travel associations and hotels can combine with airlines to offer discounted tourism products. Local authorities need to organize meetings and agree with tourist sites and attractions to reduce fares.

With effective stimulus strategies, the cooperation of travel, hotel and aviation businesses, Vietnam's tourism industry will hopefully overcome difficult times and recover soon.

Ms. Nguyen Thu Thuy, Lecturer at Tourism Department, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Director of Tass Travel

Traveler behaviors are changing. Domestic tourism will recover first, then outbound and inbound. Tourists in Europe and the United States usually plan their travelling from six months to one year before they start. Smart tourism has been developed by Technology 4.0 and will be developed further. Domestic tourists will travel or book a hotel on their own because of social distancing effects. Travel needs to be digitized or create specially distinctive products.

Ms. Duong Mai Lan, Director of Ascend Travel Company

The sharing lesson is “Staying closely connected” with employees (to continue working and keep the office efficiently operating), with suppliers (to keep best prices and products in the Covid-19 era), and with PR & marketing programs (to bring products to customers)

Mr. Vu Van Tuyen, Director of Travelogi Company

Our solutions are to split the company into a compact company model with more than 10 employees. The work is efficiently divided, with adaptations from time to time for appropriate customer segments. Working times of employees are adjusted to match customers’ time frame.

By Giang Tu, Vietnam Business Forum