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Gloomy prospects for Vietnamese travel firms anticipated

Thousands of tourism firms have suffered heavily from Covid-19. Many of them have had to shut down, while others have to take extra jobs to earn a living and survive the current difficulties.

Viet Media Travel Corporation is a large travel firm, mostly providing outbound tours. The number of Vietnamese traveling abroad account for 70 percent of the company’s total clients, while most of the remaining are domestic travelers and there are very few inbound tourists.

 

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The travel firm once had over 1,000 workers in its heyday, including 500-600 tour guides, and revenue of VND1 trillion a year, serving more than 1 million clients.

However, Viet Media Travel was also one of the first companies suffering from Covid-19. According to Tran Van Long, its CEO, most workers have resigned from their posts.

The company has shifted to produce medical face masks and antiseptic liquid to earn its living during the current difficult days.

In Vietnam, thousands of travel firms are in the same situation.

If the pandemic cannot be contained by September or October, Vietnam’s outbound tourism will fall into extremely difficult situation and a number of tourism firms will go bankrupt.

Phung Quang Thang, director of Hanoutourist, said if the pandemic cannot be contained by September or October, Vietnam’s outbound tourism will fall into extremely difficult situation and a number of tourism firms will go bankrupt.


Thang estimates that there will be 40-50 million domestic travelers this year, and 25-30 million travelers from now to the end of the year. Vietnam’s tourism infrastructure, capable of receiving 80 million domestic travelers, now serve only 1/3 of the amount.

The supply is bigger than demand. Meanwhile, there are more and more independent travelers who book their air tickets and hotel rooms, and it is not easy for travel firms to sell tours.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Vietnam had 2,022 international travel firms as of the end of 2018, including 788 joint stock companies, 20 joint ventures and 1,214 limited companies and private enterprises.

According to Vu The Binh, deputy chair of the Vietnam Tourism Association, the outbound tourism market is very attractive.

A report found that 10 million Vietnamese travelled abroad in 2019 and the market witnessed 20 percent growth rate annually. This explains why more and more outbound travel firms have been established in recent years. Around 70 percent of the 2,000 international travel firms provide outbound tours.

“It is not easy to shift to domestic tours,” Thang said. “I am afraid that Vietnam will witness a wave of outbound travel firms going bankrupt, at least 50 percent of operational firms. "

Ngo Hoai Chung, deputy general director of VNAT, said he was worried about the development of the tourism industry after seeing nearly 10 international travel firms shut down each day because of the epidemic. 

Ha Yen

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