|Tourists attend an animal show at a safari park in the island district of Phu Quoc, Kien Giang Province – PHOTO: DAO LOAN
Many travel firms expect the domestic segment to be the key to the speedy recovery of the tourism industry.
With attractive promotions, the industry could see a rebound within a few months as local tourists are forecast to be the first ones to travel at the end of the outbreak.
All eyes on local tourists
The substantial size of the domestic segment and the quick response of local visitors to promotional events are the two main reasons cited by travel firms for the plan’s focus on this segment to restore the industry.
Data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showed that the number of local tourists last year rose by 6% against that of 2018 to reach 85 million; this segment has been on an upward trend in recent years.
Besides this, the average spending of an overnight visitor was VND5.8 million in 2019, while that of a day-trip visitor was VND1.92 million.
Local tourists have also reacted positively and quickly to promotional and discount programs, according to hospitality operators.
“Most discount programs managed to attract local tourists right after being launched. The industry could make a full recovery in some three months, given special promotions,” said Nguyen Ngoc An, vice general director of Fiditour travel company.
If the epidemic is resolved soon, tourism operators will find it easier to roll out their plans, attracting tourists during the busy summer travel season, An added.
Phan Dinh Hue, director of Viet Circle Travel Service Company, echoed An’s viewpoint, noting that it will take time to reinstate the industry by exploiting the international segment. Instead, fully tapping the dosmetic segment is the most feasible solution for now, he stated.
To date, as many as 40 provinces and cities nationwide, coupled with many operators of aviation services, railways, roads and waterways agreed to jointly offer special deals to tourists after the outbreak, according to Nguyen Thi Khanh, vice chairwoman of the HCMC Travel Association.
Some road transport operators have registered to offer discounts of up to 40%. Further, destinations in the Mekong Delta and the provinces of Phu Yen, Gia Lai and Kon Tum will be introduced first with attractive promotions, according to the association representative.
Promotion measures suggested
Tour prices should be considered the key point of the upcoming promotion campaign, many companies noted. To quickly woo local tourists, travel firms need to offer heavily discounted tours, with discounts on package tours reaching at least 30%.
Operators could work out reasonable prices for non-package services for young travelers as they will be the first to hit the road when the disease ends. These tourists will also be viewed as effective marketing channels to encourage more people to start planning trips, according to the Fiditour vice general director.
Meanwhile, the head of Viet Circle Company advised suspending tours for large groups given the fear that public gatherings may trigger further outbreaks. Accordingly, tours for small groups covering some three days are highly recommended to attract tourists during the post-disease period.
In addition, the operators should exploit destinations that are free of Covid-19, he said.