Vietnam Tourism Hard Hit by Second Wave of Covid-19

1:24:11 PM | 8/6/2020

As domestic tourism was just coming back, expected to be the silver bullet for Vietnam's tourism industry post Covid-19, the resurgence of the pandemic in Da Nang has dealt a heavy blow to the industry.

According to statistics of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the program to stimulate domestic tourism "Vietnamese people travel Vietnam" has strongly revived the tourism industry for the last three months. In the whole country, the number of domestic tourists in June was about seven million, twice that of May. Da Nang city recorded more than 450,000 visitors in June, up 85% from May.

Vietravel representative said that the tourism market quickly recovered on the stimulated demand. In Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Festival 2020, Vietravel sold 5,300 tours, and Flamingo Redtours sold about 200-300 tours per day.

However, after July 20 when the second wave of Covid-19 reappeared in Da Nang, the tourism situation has fallen back into a state of turmoil. Travel companies face mass delays and cancellation of tours.

Those who have booked tours to Da Nang have begun to cancel or delay their tours, forcing travel companies to devise appropriate responses.

Many other customers are also worried about their upcoming trips, though the pandemic has not spread to their destinations. The stress and anxiety among potential travelers is clearly manifested on social networking sites such as Facebook and Zalo.

Director of travel company A Travel Mate Luong Thanh Tinh said, “Within 10 days after Covid-19 appeared in Da Nang, we have not received new bookings to Da Nang, even the number of bookings to other destinations has seriously declined. That really causes great damage to tour operators.”

The delay or cancellation of tours has put businesses in a difficult situation. The initial estimate of Vietravel showed that in July, nearly 21,000 guests canceled or rescheduled their tours for fear of the disease, leaving the company to suffer an VND88 billion loss.

Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, Director of Litchee Travel Company, admitted that as with many other travel companies, the company is facing many difficulties due to the pandemic. Currently, hundreds of delegations have just left Da Nang or are leaving to cancel, so settlement has not been completed.

Despite the unexpected situation, however, due to the previous preparation, the travel companies have coping plans. In addition, service providers, and airlines such as Vietnam Airline, VietJet Air and Bamboo, have sent official dispatches to support tourists in refunding, canceling, changing schedules with amounts up to VND1 billion.

It is not yet known how serious the recent wave of Covid-19 in Vietnam will be, but its implications for the tourism industry are enormous. Many companies, having struggled to overcome the first wave of the disease, must now cope with a new, stronger and more complex wave. It remains to be seen how many companies can survive and overcome; it will be very difficult without the State's support policy.

Giang Tu (Vietnam Business Forum)