Tourism sector to propel forward during and after epidemic

Travel businesses believe that it is time for the tourism sector to restructure the market and improve human resources, and for the government to implement tax reduction and exemption so that enterprises can recover and move forward as soon as the Covid-19 epidemic dies down.
Da Nang promoting flights to Laos and India as part of market shifting (Photo: SGGP)
Da Nang promoting flights to Laos and India as part of market shifting (Photo: SGGP)

Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu believed that the country needs to act even before the virus is fully controlled, firstly by shifting focus to countries further on the map like the UK, US, Australia, among other Western nations.

At the same time, key neighboring markets with convenient flight connections and high growth rates like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (China) and ASEAN countries must not be neglected, as well as huge potential markets like India. The Chinese market should also be on the list for as soon as the epidemic is completely curbed.

“For now we should focus on investing in tourism infrastructure, improving the quality of human resources, promoting on-site promotion and developing e-marketing systems”, said Director of Hanoi Tourism Department Tran Duc Hai. The department promised to work with businesses to prepare the Inbound Tourism Stimulation Program to put it into operation as soon as the disease subsides.

Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) Tran Trong Kien shared the same view, adding that Vietnam should take this opportunity to issue visa exemption or extension policies for potential markets to aid the stimulation process.

Experts conclude that businesses specializing in Chinese markets should shift their focus to other ones, and multi-market companies should re-balance the number of tourists and try their hands at new markets.

At the moment, the tourist markets already lost in the first quarter of 2020 is likely to remain lost in the second quarter due to the Covid-19 epidemic. This year’s vacation season also changed from the usual May to August to between June and September. 

The HCMC Department of Tourism on February 24 held a meeting with local travel agencies about offering discounts and promotions for tourism products in the area as well as neighboring localities.

The general price reduction ranges from 18 percent to 30 percent, and expected to go even higher in upcoming times, up to 50-60 percent.

Financial aid policies much needed

Many businesses expressed their wish for the Government to implement specific support policies like those issued during the SARS epidemic. the most crucial ones being tax exemption and reduction, allowing provinces and cities to use local financial reserve funds to support credit institutions to give companies extended loans and reduce corporate income tax rates for enterprises.

On this matter, Chairman of Da Nang Tourism Association said they have proposed reduction of visa fees and loan interest with many state banks, and implement reduction of utility expenses for attraction sites, among other measures.

Da Nang also plans to pioneer the implementation of a social fund model established by businesses in March, said Director of Da Nang Tourism Department Cao Tri Dung.