Forum seeks ways to recover domestic tourism amid COVID-19 hinh anh 1Ninh Binh hosts many spectacular landscapes. The province this year has been chosen as the host of the National Tourism Year 2021 (Photo:
Ninh Binh (VNS/VNA) - Thousands of representatives from tourism management agencies and enterprises gathered in the northern province of Ninh Binh on April 15 to discuss ways to promote domestic tourism.

At the national domestic tourism forum with the theme 'Domestic Tourism - Power Force for Recovering Vietnam's Tourism in New Normal Situation', the participants heard various speeches.

Vu The Binh, Vice Permanent Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said promoting domestic tourism is the lifebuoy for the whole sector.

“However, domestic tourism has never been considered a main power force of the sector; as a result, it has not been properly cared for,” he said. “Tourism enterprises have not defined clearly the demands, interests and favourite products and services that Vietnamese people like, which is a weak point of the sector.”

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung said domestic tourism plays a key role in tourism at present.

“It is high time for the whole sector to review the way, find new approaches, change the methods as well as thinking among tourism workers to revive the tourism market,” he said.

The Vietnamese tourism sector should focus on the market of nearly 100 million Vietnamese people, who like to go on holidays as the pandemic is under control, he said.

The minister suggested tourism companies introduce more products suitable for domestic customers.

Phung Quang Thang, Chairman of the Hanoi Travel Agents Association and director of Hanoitourist, said the trend of relaxing tourism, sport tourism and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism is among the most popular ways of travelling.

Tourists tend to go in small groups, book online and use their own means of transportation, he said.

Nguyen Quang Trung, head of Vietnam Airlines’ Department of Planning and Development, said customers now pay the most attention to pandemic prevention. They tend to book flights closer to the departure day, he said.

Representatives shared lots of solutions to enhance the efficiency of tourism promotion activities.

Lai Minh Duy, Vice Chairman of HCM City Tourism Association and general director of TST Tourism Company, said localities and travel agents should focus on exploiting the strength of golf tourism, MICE tourism, driving tours and upgrade their services so customers can book services online instead of buying tours directly as before.

Cao Tri Dung, Chairman of the Da Nang Tourism Association, said localities with sea tourism should work together to offer diverse products.

Many participants proposed connecting localities and products.

Deputy director of Vietravel company Nguyen Le Huong suggested localities offer special products connecting regions, with the countryside a strong point to exploit. 

Binh suggested further exploiting local cuisine. 

Minister Hung said localities and companies should promote co-ordination to offer more fresh products and develop sustainable tourism.

The event hosted various signing ceremonies between Ninh Binh province’s authorities, the Ninh Binh Tourism Department, Ninh Binh Tourism Association and Xuan Truong Construction Enterprise and various agencies and localities including Vietnam Airlines, the Vietnam Tourism Association, the HCM City Tourism Association, authorities of Da Nang City and Can Tho City and the Vietnam MICE Tourism Club.

The forum is the opening activity of the annual Vietnam Travel Mart (VITM) 2021, which will take place in Hanoi on May 5-8./.