Hoi An tourism industry to restructure for post-COVID-19 age

Having benefited from heritage-based tourism over the past two decades, the ancient town of Hoi An – a UNESCO-recognised world heritage site – should dramatically make its tourism products more ‘green’ and sustainable

 on the basis of nature and culture in creating unique value and attractions for tourists in the future.

Hoi An tourism industry to restructure for post-COVID-19 age

Lanterns use to light up the Old Quarter of Hoi An. The tourism industry will restructure its products after losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The tourism hub in central Vietnam has been facing serious losses caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as 80 per cent of tourism businesses, including tour operators and accommodation, have not yet resumed operation, while all bookings were cancelled.

Chairman of the Quang Nam Tourism Association Phan Xuan Thanh spoke at a conference on restructuring the provincial tourism industry, stating that it’s time the industry reviewed its status-quo in recent years, and discuss a new stage of sustainable development for the ‘green’ industry.

“The provincial tourism should focus on developing and protecting ‘green’ environment, culture, natural resources, renewable energy and organic produce,” he said.

“Hoi An has various destinations, including gardens, craft villages, nipa palm forest and large rural areas.”

Pham Vu Dung, owner of a travel agency in Hoi An, said tour services around the Old Quarter have remained unchanged since they debuted 20 years ago, while local people are not yet trained on professional tourism practices.

He said COVID-19 was also a chance for Hoi An to look at its tourism plan and management, as the Old Quarter remained a main focus on all tour services.

“The Old Quarter should be kept as its original tranquil space. Ancient architecture and lifestyles of people in the town were the main attraction to tourists, but it needs more quiet space,” Dung said.

“There are different options for tourists in a 5km radius from the Old Town – Tra Que garden, Kim Bong carpentry village, Triem Tay eco-village, Thanh Ha Pottery and An Bang beach. The suburban area could be linked with the Old Town as a destination chain to ease traffic and overcrowding.”

Hoi An tourism industry to restructure for post-COVID-19 age
An Bang beach is a popular site near Hoi An. Beach vacation is an option for tourists visiting Hoi An. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh

Dung said the tourism industry in Hoi An should offer more different tourism options for tourists from Asia, Europe, the US and the luxury segment.

Pham Thi Hong Trang, from Thien Minh Group, said Hoi An should rearrange its tourism structure to attract more tourists with its resources.

Trang said Hoi An could meet all the requirements for beach vacations, cuisine, eco-tour services, exploring nature, watersports as well as rural experiences.

Former party secretary of Hoi An Nguyen Su who masterminded the two-decade development of the ancient town, said it’s time to change tourism development.

He said tourism products should be built on the basis of nature and culture as well as creating events in the Old Quarter.

He said tax policy and promotion programmes should encourage businesses to create more attractions.

 

Tran Trong Kien, a member of the tourism advisory board of the Government, said the global tourism industry witnessed the worst situation in 20 years after being hit by COVID-19.

He said 53 per cent of Vietnamese want to travel, and 44 per cent booked tours online after COVID-19.

Kien said 68 per cent of Vietnamese tourists considered health and security conditions at destinations after the pandemic.

Michael Croft, head of Office and UNESCO representative to Vietnam, said: "It is good to be back in Hoi An, back with our friends in Quang Nam Province as we discuss a new reality for sustainable tourism in the province, and indeed, for the country in the time of COVID-19.”

He said: “In Vietnam, according to official ministry reports on the impact of COVID-19 on tourism in Vietnam, 19 per cent of Vietnamese enterprises have suspended their operation and downsized; over 90 per cent of workers directly employed by tourism services are unemployed and 98 per cent of airline employees have been laid off. Nearly 47,000 cultural and creative businesses report needing support from the Vietnamese Government, since most of them are small and medium-sized, without large financial resources, and rent, rather than own, their facilities.” 

“By any measure, such statistics are unprecedented," Croft said, adding: "It is important to remember that this crisis also represents an opportunity to change our approach – to build back differently, to build back better."

It is suitable to do so in Quang Nam Province, a province which has been a pioneer in conservation of cultural heritage and the promotion of sustainable tourism in Vietnam, he added.

Hoi An tourism industry to restructure for post-COVID-19 age
Bicycle tours in rural areas around Hoi An are popular among tourists. — VNS Photo Bui Van Tuan

 “This ‘quiet’ period is also an opportunity to re-evaluate supply chains, energy sources and waste management. That it is an opportunity to update site management plans and modernise strategies. And with mass tourism looking even less sustainable now than it did before, it is an opportunity to re-design tourism products and experiences, and to restructure the market to provide a high-end, environmentally friendly and healthy tourism experience, an authentic experience appealing to visitors who are looking for a unique holiday in a unique destination.”

Michael Croft added: “Across the country, more emphasis needs to be placed on a value-based approach that sees higher yielding return visitors – an indicator of successful tourism growth as opposed to just higher numbers of visitors. Such an approach can both stabilise the economic return, making it more predictable, while helping limit the negative environmental and social impact of tourism.

"The promotion of new cultural industries provides new opportunities for vulnerable populations, since the economy of culture relies significantly on the informal sector, where poor and marginalised populations, including women and ethnic minorities, often find employment." 

“If we can see that authenticity is a key to success, the other major factor is sustainability. As a major agent of change, the tourism sector needs to take a leading role in ensuring that environmental impacts from tourism activities are managed in a sustainable manner – and here it is so important to consider this before a project goes ahead," Croft said 

"Much more attention is needed to ensure sustainable resource consumption and more effective waste management practices – and here, initiatives that raise public awareness on the importance of such measures – including the awareness of visiting tourists – will be a crucial aspect of success.” 

Croft stressed: "Sustainable development isn’t about slowing down, it’s about doing things differently."

In Vietnam, a sustainable tourism agenda will not just promote a better and healthier living experience and reinforce the sense of solidarity and inclusion in communities, but also can provide new and more meaningful job and trade opportunities for the people." VNS

Green tourism: the way for Vietnam’s sustainable tourism development

Green tourism: the way for Vietnam’s sustainable tourism development

Sustainable tourism on the basis of green tourism is the path for Vietnam to go in the next 10 years, experts say.

Special system needed for homestays in Hoi An

Special system needed for homestays in Hoi An

The central city of Hoi An has been asked to work out a special system for investing in homestays that are appropriate for the ancient town.  

 
 

Other News

.
Tourism minister urges people to travel within Vietnam
Tourism minister urges people to travel within Vietnam
POLITICSicon  17/06/2020 

Tourism and culture minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien encourages people to go on travelling within the country as a key means to boost the ailing sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a “foundation” to economic recovery. 

Vietnamese food: Vietnam beef stew
Vietnamese food: Vietnam beef stew
VIDEOicon  17/06/2020 

Once a Mekong Delta specialty now it is a Saigon must-try. Vietnamese beef stew is a comfort food like no other, which requires an intricate mix of spices.

Nine tripod cauldrons of Nguyen dynasty
Nine tripod cauldrons of Nguyen dynasty
TRAVELicon  17/06/2020 

Among ancient items under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the last feudal dynasty in Vietnam, is a set of nine tripod cauldrons, which was recognised as national treasures in 2012.

Couple cycle from France to Vietnam to raise money for charity
Couple cycle from France to Vietnam to raise money for charity
VIDEOicon  16/06/2020 

As bike rides go, this one really takes the biscuit. A newlywed couple cycled from France all the way to Vietnam. 

Ninh Binh to continue as host of National Tourism Year in 2021
Ninh Binh to continue as host of National Tourism Year in 2021
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

The northern province of Ninh Binh will continue to be host of National Tourism Year in 2021 after activities within this year’s programme were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Na Ka plum valley on Moc Chau plateau
Na Ka plum valley on Moc Chau plateau
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

Moc Chau plateau in the northern mountain province of Son La has long been on the traveler’s radar because of its fields of flowers and green tea hills that stretch to the horizon.

Japan considers easing entry restrictions for Vietnam
Japan considers easing entry restrictions for Vietnam
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

Japan is about to make a decision to ease the entry ban on Vietnam in the first relaxation of travel restrictions that were imposed due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

Exploring culturally-rich Van Phuc silk weaving village in Hanoi
Exploring culturally-rich Van Phuc silk weaving village in Hanoi
PHOTOSicon  16/06/2020 

The summer months have seen increasing numbers of young visitors flock to Van Phuc silk weaving village in Hanoi to learn about the traditional craft and to snap beautiful photos.

Quang Ngai nearshore coral reef amazes visitors
Quang Ngai nearshore coral reef amazes visitors
TRAVELicon  15/06/2020 

The stunning coral site at Ganh Yen Beach in Quang Ngai Province has been an attraction for many visitors.

Squid catching off Son Tra with local fisherman
Squid catching off Son Tra with local fisherman
TRAVELicon  15/06/2020 

It’s about 4am and street vendor cafés are full of local fishermen before a new fishing day begins at dawn.

Violet flowers shine on hill in Sa Pa
Violet flowers shine on hill in Sa Pa
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

A hill of mã tiên thảo flowers is a popular tourist draw at Muong Hoa Cable Station of Sun World Fansipan Legend in Sa Pa Town, the northern province of Lao Cai.

Visitors flock back to HCM City’s oldest garden post Covid-19
Visitors flock back to HCM City’s oldest garden post Covid-19
VIDEOicon  15/06/2020 

After closing for nearly two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saigon zoo and botanical gardens Thao Cam Vien reopened in late May and has once again become a popular destination for visitors, in particular youngsters. 

Vietnam has opportunity to create new tourism products
Vietnam has opportunity to create new tourism products
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

Nguyen Trung Khanh, general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said there are many things that need to be done to recover the tourism industry.

Vietnam Airlines opens seven new domestic routes
Vietnam Airlines opens seven new domestic routes
TRAVELicon  12/06/2020 

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines opened seven new routes on June 12 linking Vinh city in central Nghe An province and the northern port city of Hai Phong with domestic tourist destinations.

Hue to promote itself as 'City of bikes' to attract locals and foreign tourists
Hue to promote itself as 'City of bikes' to attract locals and foreign tourists
TRAVELicon  12/06/2020 

To preserve and promote its heritage, culture and landscape, the central city of Hue will continue its post-Covid-19 development journey by promoting itself as a “City of bikes” and encourage the development of a bicycle network.

Gov’t wants summer, national holiday plan prepared to boost tourism
Gov’t wants summer, national holiday plan prepared to boost tourism
TRAVELicon  11/06/2020 

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam has asked the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education and Training to cooperate with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and relevant agencies to propose a summer and national holiday plan

Vietnam Airlines to reopen international air routes starting from July 1
Vietnam Airlines to reopen international air routes starting from July 1
TRAVELicon  12/06/2020 

Vietnam Airlines has announced plans to reopen international air routes as of July 1 to several destinations in the Republic of Korea (RoK), Taiwan (China), Hong Kong (China), and across Southeast Asia.

Taiwan, Tokyo and Cambodia among safe destinations for flights to resume: PM
Taiwan, Tokyo and Cambodia among safe destinations for flights to resume: PM
TRAVELicon  11/06/2020 

China’s Guangzhou and Taiwan, Seoul and Tokyo, together with Laos and Cambodia were among potential international air routes Vietnam is considering reopening, after months of border closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Da Nang tourism promoted on BBC
Da Nang tourism promoted on BBC
TRAVELicon  11/06/2020 

BBC World News will broadcast a video on tourism in the central city of Da Nang on its Asia-Pacific channel this month.

Foreign arrivals could reach 6-8 million in 2020 if int’l tourism resumes in Q3
Foreign arrivals could reach 6-8 million in 2020 if int’l tourism resumes in Q3
TRAVELicon  11/06/2020 

Vietnam could welcome 6 to 8 million foreign visitors this year if COVID-19 remains under control and international tourism could be resumed in the third quarter of this year, a webinar in Hanoi on June 10 heard.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN