It would take Vietnam’s tourism sector at least two years to recover after being hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, said Le Tuan Anh, director of the Tourism Information Centre under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, foreign tourist numbers to Vietnam have slumped. In March alone, the figure dropped 68% on-year and the rate has been forecasted to further decline as many countries have continued tightened Covid-19 prevention and control regulations.
Tourists in Ta Hien Street in Hanoi
Anh, however, said that this is not the first time the local tourism sector has faced a crisis. Over the past two decades, the sector has experienced many challenging periods such as the Asian financial crisis during 1997-1998. But the industry recovered with an on-year growth of up to 17% just a year later.
In 2003, the industry continued battling difficulties resulted by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), causing its growth to drop by 8% on-year. But, in 2004, it strongly recovered with the growth of 21%.
After the global financial crisis in the 2007-2009 phase, the sector grew by 34% only two years later.
Anh added that if Covid-19 pandemic ends in June this year, the foreign tourist numbers to the country would decrease by 70% on-year. The decline rate would be 75%, if the pandemic lasts until September. This means that the country would attract around 4.6 million foreign travellers this year.
If the situation persists until the end of this year, the drop rate would be up to 80%.
“It would be at least until 2022 or even longer for Vietnam to regain the growth of 2019,” Anh emphasised.
Many experts pinned high hopes for the rapid revival for the Vietnamese tourism sector. Specifically, Vietnam’s successful virus control is an advantage to help the country to promote its image to the world. Dtinews
More than three-quarters of tourism firms expect their revenue in the second quarter to fall more than 80 per cent from the same period last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnamese will be the first to travel after the pandemic ends, and if there are attractive demand stimulus programs, the market will need only several months to recover, experts say.