Vietnam should not look forward to receiving foreign travelers soon after it reopens international air routes, but it needs to prepare well to get them back.
At a meeting on September 18, the government agreed on increasing the number of controlled international flights to investors and specialists who need to come to Vietnam to work.
According to David Ho from Beibaogo, specializing in serving Taiwanese and Chinese travelers, the number of foreign travelers to Vietnam still remains zero. Many foreign travelers are still not willing to travel abroad because of two major reasons.
All countries are applying necessary measures to stimulate domestic travel and the COVID-19 pandemic still exists.
Statistics show that more than 90 percent of Covid-19 cases in Vietnam have been individuals entering Vietnam. If Vietnam doesn’t apply measures to prevent imported cases, the epidemic will spread among the community.
Nhu Thi Ngan, chair and CEO of Hanoitourism, said all foreign travelers to Vietnam will be put in quarantine for 14 days, which will be an obstacle to foreign travel.
|Statistics show that more than 90 percent of Covid-19 cases in Vietnam have been individuals entering Vietnam. If Vietnam doesn’t apply measures to prevent imported cases, the epidemic will spread among the community.|
Asked when Vietnam will receive foreign travelers, not just specialists and investors, Pham Ha, president of Luxury Group, said this depends on the markets.
As for some Asian markets, reopening international air routes to explore the situation is a necessity, and if there are no travelers, Vietnam needs to create demand, provided that it can ensure safety for travelers and prevent coronavirus spread to the community.
In addition to the air routes between Vietnam and Asian countries such as China, South Korea and Japan, Ha proposed reopening other air routes as well and focus on potential markets such as Australia, New Zealand and European countries, including Germany, the UK and France.
According to Ha, many of his clients booked tours in March, but they had to postpone the tours because of Covid-19. The travelers are waiting for air routes to reopen to implement their plans.
Ha believes that demand exists in Germany, which is not affected severely by the epidemic. Germans want to travel when the weather gets cold.
Vietnam is a trustworthy destination as it has been doing well in fighting against the epidemic, while procedures for visas have become simple.
Nguyen Duc Chi, a tourism expert, said that foreign travelers would bring a new lease of life to Vietnam’s tourism, saying that demand would not be strong, but that it exists.
He said Vietnam won’t be able to receive foreign travelers immediately, but it needs to pay attention to the key markets which have controlled the epidemic.
Changing the way of receiving travelers
David Ho said the first thing that needs to be done is to define which markets would be key markets for Vietnam in the immediate time.
He cited China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. The numbers of travelers from these markets always account for a large proportion of total tourists. The cultural similarities would make it easier to stimulate demand.
After defining the key markets, Vietnam will need suitable advertisement strategies to attract travelers, design reasonable preferences, and improve service quality.
“It would be better to advertise Vietnam as a hospitable and safe destination through a series of narratives. This will be more convincing,” he said.
He went on to suggest that Vietnam should advertise tourism through foreign specialists, investors and expats. They can provide trustworthy information about Vietnam to their friends and relatives.
Ha thinks that as tourism trends have changed, travelers will not like to visit crowded places. It would be better to introduce to foreign travelers places with wild beauty and islands.
David Ho also thinks that instead of crowded, bustling places or shopping, travelers will prefer ‘slow living’ tours, such as wellness, social or nature tours.
To develop sustainably the tourism industry in the new normal, besides stimulating demand, the most important thing is to ensure safety for tourists.
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