return icon Vietnamnet.vn

Small tourism businesses struggle to adapt to COVID-19

The fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in Vietnam has caused disruptions to most sectors once again as the country was preparing for the tourism season.

{keywords}
Da Lat's night market is now deserted due to COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Nhat Truong

This season was expected to help revive the country’s tourism industry after it was heavily damaged by the previous COVID-19 outbreaks.

As the whole country has implemented measures to contain the new spread of COVID-19, most famous tourism destinations are now closed, meaning many tourism businesses are struggling to survive, especially small firms.

Ha Long City in Quang Ninh Province, which is home to famous Ha Long Bay, is included. From May to September is the busiest time for the tourism industry in Ha Long.

“It is now the tourism season, but all rooms are vacant,” said Tran Khac Tuan, 38, owner of a homestay in Ha Long.

“We have prepared everything to welcome tourists but COVID-19 has returned and destroyed all of our plans.

“Since last year, our customers have fallen to around 10 – 20 per cent. During social distancing, there were no customers. And now the situation is still not positive.

“It is the picture of all accommodation businesses here.”

Besides a homestay, Tuan also owns a cafe in the hills with sweeping views of the bay, and runs a store selling Bamimo, the famous black baguette.

Since they depend heavily on tourists, all of his businesses have suffered. Seven out of nine stores selling Bamimo in many cities and province have been forced to close, while his homestay and cafe are running at minimum capacity.

“Normally, local tourists will flock to Ha Long during summer vacation, and foreign tourists come in Autumn and Winter. But since the outbreaks of COVID-19, we have lost both,” Tuan added.

In 2019, Ha Long Bay received 4.4 million visitors including 2.9 million foreign tourists, up 6 per cent year-on-year, data from Ha Long Bay Management Committee showed. However, the number dropped nearly 66 per cent to 1.5 million visitors in 2020 due to the pandemic. Of which, 1.1 million visitors were local tourists while 400,000 were foreigners.

Da Lat, another attractive tourism destination to domestic tourists, also faces similar problems after a tourist with COVID-19 travelled there. The city, which is well known for its pleasant weather, vivid landscapes and night market, has deployed measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 since early May.

{keywords}
Businesses in Da Lat close as part of measures to fight the spread of COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Nhat Truong 

“I have never seen Da Lat this empty,” Nguyen Nhat Truong, a photographer in Da Lat, said.

“The hustle and bustle of Da Lat square and night market are now so quiet and deserted. All places close and businesses stop working to fight COVID-19.

“You can only see police cars on the street to spread information about preventing the disease.”

The 26-year-old photographer said that he had no choice but to cancel all customer bookings for May and postponed his plan to open a studio.

“My start-up struggles from the beginning. My budget for opening the studio might also be affected too if the current situation continues. I am a little nervous though,” Truong added. 

Adapt to COVID-19

In one way or another, these businesses still have to find their own solutions to cope with the ongoing situation.

“With the fourth wave of infections, we are now used to the sudden changes and find ways to adapt,” Tuan said.

"At the moment, most of my businesses are closed to adjust our services to meet requirements of residents here."

But financial issues caused by COVID-19 for over a year prevent him to flexibly change to other business models. Therefore, he decided to take a side-job while waiting for life to return to normal.

“It is not easy because everyone here is changing too, meaning the market share is smaller and more competitive,” he added.

“Our finances are tight to make any differences as others steeply reduce prices instead of improving quality and creating new products.

“So all of my next projects are to provide full-service, from designing, establishing to controlling operations before handing over to investors.”

He believes incomes from these projects can finance his future plans.

“With this, I can afford to implement my own project of innovating and expanding the chain store of Bamimo in Hanoi and HCM City after COVID-19 is totally contained,” Tuan said.

To Truong, this time is perfect for improving his photography techniques and preparing to come back once the measures are lifted.

“During social distancing, I want to enhance my skills. Once the pandemic is over I will focus on opening my studio,” the young photographer in Da Lat said.

Even though the vaccine programmes have been rolled out nationwide, the percentage of vaccination is still low. It will take a long time for the tourism sector and all elements inside this industry to fully recover like it was before the pandemic.

But with the Government’s policies to promote tourism, vaccination and efforts of every member in the industry, Vietnam’s tourism industry will thrive again soon.

VNS

 

Tourism sector suffers another hit from recent Covid outbreak

Tourism sector suffers another hit from recent Covid outbreak

Businesses have sustained a new blow from the fourth recurrence of Covid-19.

MORE NEWS

Vietnam Airlines plans to restore its entire flight network by the end of 2023

The restoration of international flight routes is an important condition for Vietnam Airlines to reduce losses and become profitable in the near future.

Saigon Zoo elephant dung used to make paper

A Saigon Zoo member of staff and a group of students are transforming elephant dung into paper.

Future of Hanoi’s 120-year-old Long Bien Bridge unclear

Long Bien Bridge, the iconic bridge across Hanoi’s Red River, has degraded, but no major repair plan has been finalized and its future is unclear.

Information & Communications Ministry works to create modern digital infrastructure

The Ministry of Information and Communications will exert efforts to create a modern and safe national digital infrastructure, and a new space for digital economic growth, and developing e-government towards the building of a digital government.

Vietnamese NA Chairman begins official visit to UK

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue arrived at Heathrow Airport in London on June 28 (local time), beginning his three-day official visit to the UK.

Vietnam to establish industrial environmental index

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has called for the implementation of an industrial environmental index in Vietnam, according to Le Thanh Quan, head of MPI's department of economic zone management.

Rising costs cast doubt on wood companies growth prospects

As wood export turnover is rebounding with rising demand in the domestic market, the revenues of wood enterprises are expected to advance.

Vietnam’s GDP expands 7.72% in second quarter of 2022

Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of this year was estimated to increase 7.72% year-on-year, higher than the growth rates in the same quarters during the 2011-2021 period.

Danish Crown Prince Couple to visit Vietnam in November

Wind energy and energy efficiency will be in focus during the visit, which will take place on November 1-2.

Spanish university offers well-being courses

Lisa Bevill, Academic Director of the Center for Health, Well-being, and Happiness at IE University of Spain, talks with VietNamNet about the university’s “well-being courses” which set a foundation for students to find “the next best you”.

Health Ministry denies oversupply of Covid-19 vaccines

Duong Thi Hong, Deputy Director of the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, has confirmed that the current Covid-19 vaccine supply is only enough to give booster shots.

Domestic air transport sees fast recovery, airlines suffer loss due to rising fuel prices

Vietnamese airlines are suffering losses amounting to hundreds of billions of VND each month due to a surge in fuel prices, according to director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) Dinh Viet Thang.

Finding a way to make money from Saigon River

Ho Chi Minh City has the shape of a river city. However, urbanization and arbitrary construction has encroached on and gradually obscured the river.

Vietnam attracts more than 14 billion USD of FDI in H1

Vietnam reached more than 14 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first six months of 2022, announced the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

Vietnam needs to develop fintech services for SMEs

Vietnam needs to develop financial technology (fintech) services for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to experts.
back_to_top