|Hoi An ancient town
According to a recent survey, the number of tourists paying a visit to Da Nang has decreased sharply in comparison to the same period last year as visitors from markets such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Southeast Asia have experienced a drop of between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.
In addition to this, the number of tourists making trips to the central province of Quang Nam has also plummetted with a significant proportion of guests choosing to cancel their rooms and tours.
According to a report released by the Danang Tourism Association, hotels have been forced to reduce their operating capacity by between 30 per cent to 40 per cent against the same period last year.
A number of hotels have seen the room occupancy rate drop to as low as 10 per cent, while the number of visitors going to some of the region’s major tourist destinations have also seen declines of between 30 per cent and 40 per cent.
Pham Ba Hoa, manager of a hotel in Vo Van Kiet street in the central coastal city of Da Nang, said his hotel mainly welcomes individual travelers, therefore it can still maintain a room occupancy rate of over 30 per cent.
Amid difficulties, the Danang Tourism Association has proposed that local authorities reduce 50 per cent of land rental for hotels and resorts for the remainder of the year and ahead into 2021, while also allowing for late payment of corporate income tax from 2019 and the value added tax (VAT) for the fourth quarter of this year.
The association has also suggested that the cost of tickets be reduced when entering many of the city’s main tourist attractions as a means of stimulating tourism demand.
Cao Tri Dung, Chairman of Danang Tourism Association, said the association has also put forward proposals to airlines requesting flexible policies for travel companies with regard to refunding or transferring the deposit of air tickets for markets affected by the COVID-19.
In addition, the association also proposed that commercial banks move to support interest rate reductions and freeze debts on loans of tourism firms.
Elsewhere, the Quang Nam Tourism Association has also made projections regarding these difficulties in the future. Apart from a sharp decline in the number of tourists, tourism enterprises have shared their concerns regarding personnel, interest rates for loans, bank debts, tax debts, along with unfair competition, and market fluctuations following the epidemic.
Tran Thai Do, General Director of A Dong Villas Co., Ltd. and the investor of Silk Sense Hoi An Hotel, emphasised the need to come up with a synchronised policy that stimulates tourism demand both during and after the COVID-19 epidemic, with a particular focus on increasing revenue, reducing costs, and improving overall service quality.
Quang Nam Tourism Association has also put forth a support mechanism for the tourism industry by easing visa procedures for international visitors from European countries and offering visa exemptions to visitors from traditional markets. Moreover, they have made moves to strengthen tourism promotion activities in emerging markets such as India by offering visa exemptions to tourists arriving on the air route that links the South Asian country with Da Nang.
The association has also proposed offering discounts on tickets to tourist attractions such as Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son relic site, and Cu Lao Cham, whilst also promoting Quang Nam and Hoi An as safe destinations for both local and foreign visitors.