Tourists to HCM City sees 12 percent drop amid novel coronavirus fears
The number of tourists paying a visit to Ho Chi Minh City during the Lunar New Year (Tet) has suffered a decline of approximately 12 per cent as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus (nCoV) situation.
Information regarding the figure was released at a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on February 4 by the Department of Tourism and the Department of Health, aiming to discuss measures to prevent and combat the acute respiratory disease caused by the nCoV.
Vo Thi Ngoc Thuy, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, stated that the number of tourists arriving in the southern city over Tet fell by 12 per cent, although the city’s tourism industry is not reliant on visitors from China. In addition, several tour operators and travel operatorshave been forced to cancel tours as a consequence of the current situation.
The Department of Tourism has issued a document requesting that businesses provide compensation of between 80 per cent and 100 per cent to guests when cancelling tours involving Chinese arrivals.
Some of the city’s places of interest have seen visitor numbers drop by between 30 per cent and 50 per cent.
The city’s tourism sector has taken measures in line with the standards set by the health sector, Thuy added.
The Southern metropolis has been active in spreading relevant information to international visitors regarding preventive measures that can be taken against the nCOV epidemic.
Nguyen Phuong Anh, a representative of Park Hyatt Hotel, said that due to the impact of the epidemic, a number of customers have chosen to cancel their bookings at the hotel, while the organisation of events has also been delayed.
As a means of coping with the increasingly complicated developments of the disease, the hotel has been closely following the instructions issued by the local authorities and the Ministry of Health.
Accordingly, all employees are required to wear medical masks, check body temperature before their shifts, and regularly wash hands, whilst the hotel has also taken steps to improve clean-up activities, according to Anh.
Between now and February 10, it is expected that the city’s Department of Tourism, businesses, and volunteers will deliver approximately 200,000 medical masks to visitors free of charge. VOV
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