Making news

Vietnam’s tourism sector counts cost of coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic could cause losses of 5.9-7.7 billion USD for the domestic tourism sector in the next three months, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

The tourism sector estimated a 90 percent decrease in the number of Chinese visitors due to the disease, and a 50-70 percent drop in holidaymakers from other countries.

Meanwhile, the number of domestic holidaymakers is likely to suffer a fall of 50-70 percent.

China, where the outbreak began late last year, has advised its citizens to stay at home. Vietnam has also stemmed the flow of tourists from coronavirus-stricken areas and suspended festivals. International vacationers have stayed away from Asia while many Vietnamese tourists have decided to stay at home.

The VNAT said losses caused by COVID-19 could be huge in both the short and long terms.

To cope with this, the agency has outlined a plan to help the industry recover, focusing on nearby markets connected by favourable air routes like the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan, Taiwan (China) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and others with major potential such as India.

At the same time, Vietnam will focus more on North America, and maintain and expand its reach to Western and Northern Europe.

The VNAT plans to work with partners, particularly airlines, to discuss tourism cooperation and recovery after the acute respiratory disease subsides.

Resources will be mobilised for promotional campaigns through television and social networks, especially major TV channels like CNN, in order to show Vietnam’s ability to control the crisis and promote the country as an attractive, safe and friendly destination.

Travel companies are also implementing stimulation packages, seeking new markets and offering new tours that ensure safety.