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Tourism sector seeks ways to recover after coronavirus outbreak

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Quang Tung chaired a conference in Hanoi on February 6 to discuss measures to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus-caused acute respiratory disease on the tourism sector.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the outbreak will cause significant losses to Vietnam’s tourism sector, especially due to a sharp drop in tourist arrivals from China – the epicenter of the outbreak, which accounts for over 30 percent of foreign arrivals in Vietnam.

The VNAT suggested tapping key markets with high growth potential such as the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan (China), ASEAN and India.

The sector was asked to attract visitors from North America, and expand markets in Western, Northern and Eastern Europe and Russia, as well Australia and New Zealand.

More marketing campaigns will be held in China after the epidemic is repelled while domestic tourism will be stimulated with preferential packages.

The VNAT also proposed restructuring resources and markets under the national tourism promotion programme and the national action programme to offset growth in epidemic-hit markets.

Marketing campaigns should be run in the media to convey the message that Vietnam is an attractive and safe destination for tourists.

Regarding long-term solutions, the VNAT highlighted the need to launch demand stimulation drives, offer lower prices to draw visitors back, allow tax reductions for travel firms, and simplify visa procedures for delegations of tourists served by travel agencies.

It also pledged to hold training courses in localities to help firms deal with the tourism crisis.