Da Nang re-starts tourism following COVID-19 pandemic hinh anh 1Sun World Ba Na Hills in Da Nang is reopened to from April 30, 2020 (Photo: VNA) 

Da Nang (VNA) – Tourism was the first and hardest hit sector by COVID-19 and forecast to be the last industry to recover when the pandemic is over.

Despite a wide range of difficulties ahead, the city’s tourism sector and businesses are urgently preparing scenarios to re-start and revive tourism following the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic both at home and abroad.

Some 150 out of the total 968 accommodation establishments in Da Nang are now operating, including 50 facilities that have just resumed operation after the government and the municipal People’s Committee allowed them to receive tourists from April 23 following the social distancing period.

To ensure COVID-19 prevention and control, the city’s Department of Tourism has issued documents instructing and guiding local units and agencies to take pandemic countermeasures. It also worked with the Department of Health to advise the municipal People’s Committee issuing documents directing the continued implementation of COVID-19 prevention and control measures as requested by the Prime Minister in Directive No.19/CT-TTg dated April 24, 2020 in the “new normal” situation such as providing protective gear for staff, checking the temperature of visitors, disinfecting accommodation establishments, wearing face masks and keeping a minimum distance from each other.

Da Nang has been strictly carrying out the Prime Minister’s Directive No.19/CT-TTg such as postponing festivals, religious rituals, sport tournaments, mass gatherings in public places and stadiums and unnecessary big events. The city also suspended the operation of unessential service business establishments such as entertainment and recreation facilities, spas, karaoke venues, message kiosks and bars.

Despite efforts of the city’s authorities, statistics released by the municipal Department of Tourism showed that the number of visitors to Da Nang during this year’s National Reunification (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) holidays plunged sharply compared to the same period last year.

The flow of tourists to the city during the four-day holidays (one day fewer than last year’s holidays) reached only 5,800, a decrease of 98.5 percent from last year’s holidays. Of them, 650 are foreign visitors, who had stayed in the city before March 28, down 99.5 percent.

The number of tourists staying at the city’s accommodation establishments during this year’s holidays was 1,626, a year-on-year fall of 99 percent. Among those, 1,046 are domestic holidaymakers and 580 are foreigners, both down 99 percent as compared to last year’s holidays. Most of the foreign tourists had stayed in the city before March 28 and some domestic visitors were on business trips after the social distancing period.

Earlier, Da Nang set a target of serving 9.8 million tourists in 2020, a year-on-year rise of 12.74 percent, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

The number of international visitors is expected to increase by 13-15 percent year-on-year.

The city is building a night economic development plan in the field of tourism to realise its 2020 target.

Besides developing the domestic market, the city will diversify its international market between 2019 and 2021, focusing on potential markets such as France, Germany, Russia, Australia, North America, and India.

In 2019, Da Nang has welcomed 8.69 million holidaymakers, including nearly 3.5 million foreigners, up 30.7 percent from the previous year.

As of December 2019, 35 international and 10 domestic air routes respectively operated 496 and 662 flights per week to the central coastal city.

Covering over 1,250 square metres, Da Nang is cited as an entrance to four World Heritage Sites including the former royal capital city of Hue, Hoi An ancient city, My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam province and UNESCO-recognised Phong Nha-Ke Bang in Quang Binh province.

It has a total of 90 kilometres of coastline and dozens of beaches, including the stunning My Khe. Meanwhile, the city’s Ngu Hanh Son district is renowned as a centre for stone art, with Non Nuoc craft village stands at the foot of the Marble Mountain.

In 2019, Da Nang was ranked first among Vietnamese tourists’ popular destinations by Agoda, one of the world’s fastest-growing online travel booking platforms./.