Culture ministry focuses on digital transformation to cope with COVID-19 hinh anh 1Muong Lo Culture and Tourism Festival in 2020 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it will focus on digital transformation in the second half of this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the sector.

The ministry held a meeting in Hanoi on July 14 to review the performance of its tasks in the first half of this year and launch missions for the remaining months.

Struggling under the grip of COVID-19

Insiders forecast that domestic tourism will continue to be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first half of this year, the number of domestic holidaymakers was estimated at 30.5 million. The sector pulled in about 134,000 billion VND (5.8 billion USD) in the period, down 24.2 per cent year-on-year.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet said the pandemic has forced many localities to temporarily shut down historical and cultural relic sites, among other tourist destinations, and cancel or suspend many cultural and artistic performances, including film screenings.

“This has severely affected the communication work  and cultural popularization, and caused financial hardship for localities, businesses and people,” he said.

Additionally , since sports teams have fewer chances to direct training sessions and compete abroad, the quality and number of Vietnamese athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been affected, the official added.

Despite this, Vietnamese sport has recorded some outstanding achievements, such as the national men’s football squad earning a ticket to the third qualifying round of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, to be held in Qatar. On top of that, Futsal Vietnam clinched a berth for the FIFA Futsal World Cup finals in Lithuania and the Taekwondo team brought home a gold medal at the Asian Taekwondo Championship in Lebanon.

Culture ministry focuses on digital transformation to cope with COVID-19 hinh anh 2Art programmes held to serve political purposes in the first half of this year attract the public (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Furthermore, Viet said proceeds from art programmes conducted in the first half of this year reached just under 2 billion VND.

Anti-pandemic efforts

Given the present challenges, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung said one of the sector’s major tasks lies with digital transformation.

Accordingly, the ministry will work to complete projects between 2021 and 2030 on the digitalisation of cultural heritage, digital map building and reviewing, collecting, preserving, displaying and popularising Vietnamese cultural heritage.

It will also roll out programmes on digital transformation in libraries by 2025 with a vision towards 2030, on the preservation and promotion of the traditional cultural values of ethnic minority groups in combination with tourism development. Other projects will focus on preserving, restoring and promoting ethnic folk songs and dances in tandem with tourism development during the 2021-2030 period. 

The ministry will also coordinate with the Ministry of Information and Communications to protect authorship and other relevant rights on the Internet.

Hung said the ministry will present the Prime Minister with a project proposing a number of night tourism models and “vaccine passport” pilot schemes in some tourist destinations where the pandemic is under control.

The ministry will continue to study and put forth a plan to stimulate  the domestic tourism market immediately after the pandemic has been contained while fostering digital transformation in tourism promotion in target markets via e-marketing, he said.

The acceleration of digital application is vital to supervise tourism activities and support COVID-19 control and prevention measures, as well as ensure long-term business in the sector, Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said.

To support stakeholders, the VNAT has rolled out a project on a smart tourism operation centre that will connect with customers and coordinate with telecommunication units.

Localities are asked to guide firms in signing up for a COVID-19 safety self-assessment system and an app on safe tourism, to which all 63 provinces and cities in the country have registered./.