including research on loosening immigration procedures and reconnect flight routes.
The pandemic is being well-controlled domestically, however, to continue the prevention of COVID-19, the Prime Minister still asks to continue to prevent the source of disease from invading from outside, currently not opening the border for international tourists.
However, to prepare for the recovery of tourism, in the Government regular meeting on the prevention and countering of COVID-19, it was decided that the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism would cooperate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health, as well as related agencies in promoting tourism advertising, preparing the necessary conditions to reopen the border and receive international tourists as soon as the conditions allow. Initially, the tourism industry would welcome tourists coming from countries and regions which have successfully controlled the pandemic.
These ministries and agencies will also do research on the time and the rules of loosening immigration, reconnecting several play routes to recover trade and tourism, etc. on the bilateral basis to submit to the Prime Minister for consideration and decision.
COVID-19 has started affecting the international tourist sector of Vietnam since the end of January 2020. From 2 million tourists in January 2020, by April, this number has dropped to more than 26,000.
Currently, multiple enterprises, especially those exploiting the nearer markets and places where COVID-19 is being properly controlled, are waiting for immigration relaxing, medical isolation lifting, and international flights reconnecting measures to implement advertising programs and restart the market.
According to the research of the Outbox Consulting tourism destination development research and consulting company, the tourism industry should continue to prioritize attracting visitors from closer and traditional markets in the past years such as China and Korea.
Tourists from these markets have already been familiar with the image of Vietnam as an ideal destination and it is possible that Vietnam is still in the travel plans. Therefore, when the pandemic situation gets more stable, in the period between the 4th quarter of 2020 and the 1st quarter of 2021, the destinations in Vietnam should have guests attracting policies and measures.
A survey involving 1,000 people from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen conducted by the C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications hotel consulting corporation also shows that 45% of the participants said they would travel to Vietnam after the pandemic is over.
Regarding other markets, including those where the pandemic is developing complicatedly such as Europe or the EU, they should be prioritized after 2021 arrives.
Multiple enterprises are being impatient after many days without international tourists, yet currently, they are still unable to have any launch for this market.
General Director of Mui Ne Bay Resort of Binh Thuan Province Nguyen Van Khoa says that regularly, by this time, the resort should have been able to estimate the number of visitors arriving in the peak season at the end of the year, but currently, it is standing still.
“European partners continue to sign contracts without knowing the number of tourists they can bring in as well as their arrival dates due to the pandemic in those regions”, he says.
Many other enterprises say the same thing, deeming the pandemic the reason why the US and European markets are unpredictable.
“The market has shown no optimistic sign, and it may hibernate until the next year”, said Bui Viet Thuy Tien, the Operating Director of Asian Trails Co., LTD.
Some enterprises specializing in markets in the South East Asia region have also made no prediction on the recovery time even though this will be a prospect market once the pandemic is over.
According to Tran Xuan Huan, the Chairman of Viking Tourism Company, it will only be possible to reconnect with partners to recover the market once the 14-day-after-arrival health distancing regulation has been lifted and the sky has been reopened.
“Every activity has been frozen until now, and they will only be recovered once these measures are lifted”, he said and considered the important advantage in attracting foreign tourists to Vietnam are the positive image in countering COVID-19 and the actively tourist-supporting measures in the past time.