This program is meant to encourage the Vietnamese people to visit various travel destinations across the country, now that the pandemic has been brought under control within internal borders of Vietnam.
Speaking to Saigon Investment, Mr. Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Chief of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (photo), said he believed that this domestic tourism stimulus program would certainly help in reviving the tourism sector in the country once again.
JOURNALIST: - Sir, do you think promoting domestic tourism at this time will help speed up the recovery of the travel industry?
Mr. HA VAN SIEU: - If we take appropriate measures, our population of more than 90 million will offer great support for a breakthrough in domestic tourism. However, the success of this stimulus program will depend mostly on the cooperation of all relevant agencies, travel related organizations and individuals in the field of hospitality to ensure that tourist spots remain safe and entry to such places is free of charge.
It is also essential that airlines provide affordable flights to and from important tourist destinations, and companies, associations and service providers come together to offer attractive travel packages to domestic tourists. Additionally, it is necessary to consider how people will find the resources to finance their travel vacations after a long period without work or earnings due to the Covid-19 pandemic within the country. Hence, a tight collaboration among competent agencies across different cities and provinces is vital so as to synchronize attractive travel packages for the resurgence of domestic tourism.
- Sir, in addition to activities for promoting tourism in source markets like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it seems imperative to study the travel trends among Vietnamese people, making it possible to introduce suitable products to meet the needs of different groups of people. What is your opinion in this matter?
- In my opinion, activities should be organized often to bring companies closer together. It is equally important to open mini market sessions to sell vouchers and exciting travel combo packages. Travel products were sold mainly at large-scale fairs earlier, but they could be sold more effectively in smaller packages at smaller market sessions, so it could be easier to get to know customers' needs and meet these needs more satisfactorily.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism is now managing tourism promotion activities in cities and provinces to make the travel stimulus program better known to the public throughout the country. Localities and companies have recently opened travel attractions and places of interest and offered lower price packages or free entry to places which are very significant.
This move has actually warmed up the market, paving the way for a gradual recovery of this green industry. That is why we have called for competent agencies in cities and provinces to continue to lower prices or provide free entry to state-run tourist spots to visitors in an effort to stimulate and boost tourism.
- Remarkable growth in international tourism over the years has brought about significant changes in the tourism industry in Vietnam. What plans must the tourism sector now develop to lure the international traveler once again?
- We have been monitoring the situation for months and studying the best possible recovery plan for international tourism in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some plans are already underway, based on how well the disease is contained across countries all over the globe, so that we can make different offers for different markets.
We are working with travel representatives in tourism agencies in Thailand and with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office to discuss a suitable time to introduce our cooperative travel offers. For example, we might first reopen travel from countries and territories like Taiwan, Thailand, China and the Republic of South Korea, and then from Japan and follow this up by other countries that are slowly reopening again after successfully containing the disease.
However, the schedule for reopening international tourism will depend mainly on how well the disease is contained in each individual country and territory. During this phase, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism is studying and building a safe corridor for tourism between Vietnam and Thailand. Thai officials have suggested launching pilot projects by introducing exclusive tours, such as charter flights to particular tourist spots in certain designated cities in the two countries. For instance, special flights can be arranged for tours from Ho Chi Minh City to Phuket or from Dalat to Bangkok.
- Sir, apart from offering such exclusive tour plans, how is the tourism sector preparing for reopening to receive the international tourism market?
- The tourism sector and the travel companies are considering the introduction of new travel trends because of the global situation and impact on the travel industry worldwide. Some arrangements will be made for smaller travel groups with more detailed itineraries, and more digital technology will be applied at different stages of the plan, from advertising to developing of travel programs and tour packages. As a management agency, we are preparing to launch a project for setting up online channels for tourism between Vietnamese and international institutions to offer our activities online in several languages, including French, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.
We may not organize roadshows this year, so this new online channel could be a way of introducing safe and attractive tours to exciting travel destinations. We should always be aware that advertising is truly effective if the tourists feel safe about visiting such places.
- Thank you very much.