“Green Stream” for tourism to take off
Update: Mar 14, 2022
(TITC) - The forum “Green Stream for tourism to take off” with the theme “Opening tourism flexibly - safely – effectively” took place in Ha Noi on 11th March 2022. This event was organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in collaboration with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the Business Forum Magazine. Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, VNAT’s Chairman, attended and spoke at the event.

Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, VNAT’s Chairman spoke at the forum (Photo: TITC)

Attending the forum were representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), Vietnam Hotel Association (VHA); Departments of tourism management of provinces/cities of Ha Noi, Hai Duong, Kien Giang, Lao Cai, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and travel businesses, accommodation establishments, etc.

Golden time for tourism recovery and breakthrough

Spoke at the forum, Ms. Tran Thi Lan Anh - General Secretary of VCCI stated that, since the COVID-19 pandemic being gradually under control, the tourism industry as well as the whole country’s economy are regularly turning the corner. For businesses, the most concerning issue at the moment is how to open the door for tourists without any additional procedures while ensuring the health and safety for locals.

Ms. Tran Thi Lan Anh - General Secretary of VCCI spoke at the forum (Photo: TITC)

The tourism industry sees a “golden” opportunity when it is about to fully reopen. The business community is looking forward to achieving the target of welcoming about 5 million international visitor arrivals this year from the tourism industry.

As a national organisation representing the business community, VCCI always works on activities to support the community in general and the tourism business community in particular, contributing to affirm Vietnam as a safe and attractive tourist destination.

Overview of the forum (Photo: TITC)

Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, VNAT’s Chairman said, after being severely affected by the pandemic, the analytical data from Google Destination Insights shows that the number of international search volume for air and accommodation from the beginning of December 2021, have been increasing gradually, till the end of December 2021 and beginning of January 2022 rose steeply (the number of search volume on 1st January 2022 increased by 222% compared to last month and increased 248% compared to the same period of 2021). Especially, from January 2022 to present, the number of search volume for airlines to Vietnam have been remaining in an upward trend, sometime peaked by 425% compared to the same period of 2021.

In the context of well controlling the pandemic in Vietnam, this is a prerequisite to open up great opportunities for the tourism industry to quickly restart, recover and develop in the new normal.

In terms of creating a “green stream” for Vietnam tourism, Mr. Khanh stated, the tourism industry is required to pay attention to a number of contents: (1) Ensuring safety against pandemic. In order to resume tourism activities effectively and safely in the near future, implementing uniform compliance with pandemic prevention and control regulations in localities and tourism businesses must be considered as the top priority in tourism activities. (2) Increasing operation of international commercial flight routes. Vietnam recently lifted the restriction on operating frequency with international flights from 15th February 2022. The current problem is how airlines can coordinate with tourism businesses to increase operation of international flight routes connecting key markets with tourist destinations in Vietnam, ensuring the COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control for visitors. (3) Creating favourable conditions for international tourists to Vietnam. Vietnam needs to restore policies to simplify entry and exit procedures to attract international visitors, including unilateral and bilateral visa exemption policies and e-visa issuance as before the pandemic. (4) Vaccine passport recognition. Currently, not many countries have recognised Vietnam’s Certificate of COVID-19 vaccination, as a result, it is difficult to organise abroad tours for Vietnamese. The tourism industry will continue to ask the Diplomatic Service to coordinate with the Health sector to strengthen negotiations with other countries and territories on the acceptance of Vietnam’s Certificate of COVID-19 vaccination. (5) Improving product quality, upgrading tourism facilities is one of the key issues to increase the competitiveness of Vietnam tourism. (6) Supporting destinations to raise competitiveness. How to improve competitiveness and enhance destination attractiveness after 2 years of being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic must be taken seriously as one of the important issues to attract international tourists to return to Vietnam. (7) Promoting and advertising to attract tourists. The tourism industry will focus on organising campaigns, stimulating, promoting domestic and international tourism, upholding communication promoting the “Live fully in Vietnam” internationally and “Safe tourism - Full experience” nationally. Additionally, advancing the application of technology in tourism promotion. (8) Supporting tourism businesses. Existing support policies need to last continuously at least until the end of 2023 such as electricity price reduction, VAT reduction, land rent reduction, travel licence fee reduction, and guide card issuance. 

Localities accompany businesses to overcome difficulties

In order to support struggling businesses due to the pandemic, Mr. Nguyen Hong Minh, Deputy Director of the Ha Noi Department of Tourism stated that Ha Noi supported more than 4,000 tourism businesses with a budget of nearly VND15 billion. With accommodation establishments in the area, Ha Noi has exempted and reduced electricity bills for more than 4,000 establishments with a total of more than VND100 billion. In addition, policies to reduce escrow by 80% for newly established enterprises and reduce 50% of appraisal fees and issuance of travel business licences are also applied.

Regarding the development of new tourism products, Ha Noi has cooperated with businesses to promote traditional tourism products and expand into new types of tourism fit with the new situation: Hoang Thanh Thang Long night tour; Hoa Lo Prison Relic; City bus tour, etc.

Besides, Ha Noi also intensifies promotion and advertisement activities on domestic and international media, organises events, promotional activities and digital transformation at the same time to bring the image of Ha Noi closer to domestic and international tourists. 

Supporting training and cultivating for employees in the field of tourism, in order to improve and attract labour resources.

Support visa policy for tourists, enhance linkages, and create favourable conditions for businesses to “surmount difficulties”

Mr. Vu The Binh - VITA’s Permanent Vice Chairman suggested that the best support for businesses at this moment is to issue favourable policies for businesses to easily apply. Mr. Binh added, in order to attract international visitors when resuming tourism activities, visas are a vital factor. Visa policies need to be reinstated as before 2020.

Mr. Vu The Binh - VITA’s Permanent Vice Chairman

Mrs. Le Mai Khanh, VHA’s Vice Chairwomen indicated, through discussions with many localities, the operating capacity of accommodation establishments in general is remaining as low and limited. Therefore, it is necessary to create favourable conditions for tourists to enter Vietnam. By that, international tourists will return quickly, also the number of domestic tourists will increase,

Mr. Nguyen Quy Phuong - Director of VNAT’s Travel Department emphasised the important role of linkages, he said, when implementing a full reopening in the context of the new normal, it is necessary to have the involvement of central and local agencies, ministries and specialised agencies as well as the tourism community.

Regarding the changing of markets, tourism trends, tourists’ demands, methods of tourism participation, etc., businesses should immediately grasp these trends to have appropriate marketing plans and attractive products.

Also at the forum, the delegates discussed on a number of contents about reopening tourism safely and effectively in the upcoming time; applying pandemic prevention flexibly, effectively and appropriately in each activity.

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