Vietnam pushes second tourism stimulus

(ĐTTCO) - The Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam is currently under control all across the country and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is looking to implement a second tourism stimulus program to once again restore and revive the tourism industry. 

A tourist spot on Ba Den Mountain, Tay Ninh Province.

A tourist spot on Ba Den Mountain, Tay Ninh Province.

The Ministry will aim to help many tourism-related businesses to recover and is now looking for safe destinations to market on its itineraries. Saigon Investment spoke with Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, General Director of the National Administration of Tourism to ask his opinion on this issue.

JOURNALIST: - Sir, what changes will the second stimulus program bring to revive tourism in the current situation?

Mr. NGUYEN TRUNG KHANH: - The difference in this new stimulus program will be the target group that will include foreigners living and working in Vietnam. The main product will be short-term and suitable weekend resorts, golf, and MICE tourism which is combining meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. Since 15 September some commercial flights have been resumed, and about 5,000 foreign experts and foreigners are entering Vietnam each week. After a period of isolation and testing against Covid-19 infection, they can be potential customers for  the tourism industry, along with those foreigners living and working in Vietnam for a long time.

This time the tourism stimulus is not aimed at the masses. Hence, the stress is on delivering quality products, offering affordable trips, and focusing on enhancing the experience for customers. The message this time is, ‘Safe and attractive Vietnam’. Safety will remain the main criteria so that business people are comfortable in their surroundings, and the people serving and welcoming them also convey that sense of safety by ensuring the right conditions, equipped with protective gear, are more knowledgeable and able to take good care of all visitors. The aim is also to offer a good price and good quality service.

- Sir, in the first stimulus offer for tourism, some cases of fraud occurred which created a negative image. What measures will the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism take this time to prevent such incidents from happening again during the second stimulus?

- As soon as such cases were reported the National Administration of Tourism sent a document to all local tourism departments. They were strictly asked to offer quality service without compromise, meet quality of accommodation, and attract visitors by reducing prices. In this second stimulus, the National Administration of Tourism will continue to ask the tourism departments of provinces and cities to actively participate, review  activities of tour service providers, strictly punish individuals and organizations who indulge in illegal tourism activities or offer poor quality services.

The National Administration of Tourism is also looking at improving the quality of tourist operators on site, offer more reasonably priced hotels and passenger transport, good clean restaurants and more entertainment facilities. Tourism services in provinces must also be able to offer four basic contents, those of enhanced quality control of services, better skilled human resources, assured food safety in tourist destinations, and a hotline to answer and resolve visitor complaints.

- Sir, some countries are already working on policies to restart and revive international tourism soon. How is the Vietnamese tourism industry preparing for international tourism in coming time ?

- The National Administration of Tourism has researched and developed a plan to welcome international visitors soon after the market opens again. The plan has been submitted to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for review and approval. The general focus is that the tourism industry will now actively prepare the right conditions to welcome international tourists as per their itineraries, offer a full range of measures to protect against the pandemic to ensure safety, strictly implement pandemic prevention and control measures under the direction of the Government in destinations, and increase communication to build an image of a safe, friendly, strong Vietnam as an ideal tourist destination for international visitors.

The Vietnam Tourism Development Strategy until 2030 is to identify smart tourism, accelerate application of digital technology to connect and support tourists, build a smart tourism ecosystem to connect tourism services, increase application of green and clean technologies in establishments and several tourist accommodations.

Decision 1671/QD-TTg dated 30 November 2018 was approved by the Prime Minister for a Master project on information technology in the tourism sector for the period 2018 to 2020, with a vision until 2025. The National Administration of Tourism has built a digital platform to integrate many essential features of state management agencies, travel businesses, tour guides and tourists.

The developing and launching of the Safe Vietnam Tourism App will help visitors easily update information about destinations, services and policies. This application fully integrates features that serve the needs of visitors, tourism service providers and state management agencies. Users can look up the level of safety of a destination, view digital maps to know level of safety while traveling to new locations, choose service providers such as restaurants, hotels, and entertainment spots and also update the latest information about all available destinations and policies of the Vietnamese tourism industry.

The main features of the app will be a focus on the slogan ‘Safe and attractive Vietnam’, assuring visitors of secure travel facilities and services. Through this App, visitors and travel service providers will be able to directly interact with each other to communicate, check information, and remain assured of safety conditions during their entire trip.

- Thank you very much.

Thu Ha (interviewer)

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