|Bui Vien Street in Ho Chi Minh City, a location frequented by foreigners. (Photo: VNA)
The department’s data shows that the country’s southern metropolis welcomed just 1.3 million visitors during the first three months of the year, down 42.26% from a year earlier.
In March alone, tourist arrivals nosedived 84.23% year-on-year to about 117,000.
The department plans to further strengthen preventive measures against the widely-spreading disease to ensure safety for travellers in the second quarter.
It is working with the municipal Department of Science and Technology to explore how to develop community-based tourism in urban cultural spaces in the near future.
It also expects to launch a series of tourism stimulus programmes after the pandemic is over to help the industry recover.
Last year, HCM City was the most popular locality in Vietnam among foreign tourists during the first quarter.
The city welcomed a record high 2.25 million foreign tourists from January to March, increasing 10% year-on-year and accounting for half the total number of foreign arrivals to Vietnam.
Japan, the Republic of Korea, China and the US were the four biggest groups of foreigners visiting HCM City, helping it earn VND39.8 trillion from tourism services in the reviewed period.