Tourism services enjoy dramatic recovery

VOV.VN - Major tourist destinations across Vietnam were packed with holidaymakers during the three-day national break running from April 9 to April 11 to commemorate the ancestral anniversary of Hung Kings, marking the start of a strong recovery for the domestic tourism sector.

With COVID-19 impacting the country for more than two years, tourism was one of the hardest hit economic sectors. Efforts to reopen tourism services were jeopardised by subsequent waves of the virus, as well as disease prevention measures and a reluctance among tourists.

This year the situation is totally different as localities have been implementing the Government’s strategy of living safely with the virus. Localities have gradually resumed the majority of services, with tourism recovery considered as a spearhead sector in relation to the economic recovery process. The Government has also eased COVID-19 prevention and control measures to create the conditions in which people can freely participate in the tourism market. 

Sam Son beach in Thanh Hoa province has become crowded over recent days packed full of visitors from various localities. Minh Hoa, a visitor from Hanoi, said she was happy to return to her favourite beach after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. 

“When the disease showed signs of abating, we booked the ticket immediately, and if everything is fine we plan to make longer trips to other places this summer,” said Hoa.

Meanwhile, Vung Tau city in the south which is famous for beaches with crystal-clear water attracted 37,000 holidaymakers during the three-day break, a record surge in recent years. Likewise, all lodging facilities in other tourist destinations such as Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Da Lat were fully booked, signaling a substantial recovery of local tourism services.

The tourism sector has been grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years, especially after the Government closed its borders to international tourism in April, 2020, to focus on pandemic fight. Domestic tourism services were also impacted by subsequent waves of COVID-19. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) reported that the pandemic caused a loss of VND530 trillion to the tourism sector in 2020 alone.

However, the tourism sector has started to show signs of recovery since early this year, especially after the Government gradually began to control the pandemic and reopened its borders to international tourism. VNAT statistics indicate that localities attracted 26 million domestic holidaymakers during the first quarter of the year compared to 40 million throughout the entirety of 2021. 

The sector has set a target of receiving 65 million visitors, including five million foreigners, this year. The target, according to economic experts, will be achievable thanks to the sector’s post-pandemic stimulus programme, along with the strong resolve from the Government, ministries, localities, and travel businesses.

The crowding of major tourist destinations nationwide during the April 9 to April 11 national break will serve to herald a strong recovery for the tourism sector. It represented a major test for the sector and localities especially when people enjoy a four-day national break, starting on April 30 to mark National Reunification Day and May Day. In addition, many localities are launching summer festivals to anticipate the upcoming peak tourism season.

One of the important tasks of the sector is also to attract foreign visitors who generate approximately half the sector’s revenue. While kick-starting domestic tourism campaigns, tour operators have developed plans to welcome back foreign visitors, mostly in this autumn and winter.

Travel businesses are hopeful that post-pandemic stimulus tourism policies put in place will help the tourism sector gather full steam over the course this year.