Hanoi (VNA) – Domestic travel is expected to boom this summer after being put on hold for months because fears of COVID-19 resurgence.

Now as the COVID-19 outbreak seems to be kept at bay, the smoke-free industry is making its move to revive travel demand with a host of activities of events planned ahead.

Since international travel is yet to reopen, Vietnamese tourism players will maintain its focus on the domestic market.

The Vietnam Tourism Association (VISTA) and the Hanoi Department of Tourism will jointly host a national forum for domestic tourism in Hanoi next month, which aims to provide an opportunity for travel companies and tourist destinations nationwide to together discuss solutions to boost tourism and create linkages in the coming time.

The VISTA will also hold the 2021 Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) on May 5 – 8 in an effort to stimulate travel demand this summer.

Host of events planned to revive travel demand hinh anh 1A corner of Thay Pagoda in Hanoi’s suburb district of Quoc Oai. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Previously, the Hanoi Travel Agents’ Association and VGreen Sustainable Tourism Club have jointly launched the first-ever self-driving tour called “VGreen Caravan North-western Region – Ban flower in full bloosom season” which takes travellers to various popular tourist spots across the north-western part of the country to enjoy full blooming of ban flowers (scientifically known as Bauhinia Variegata), a flower carrying the breath of the mountainous region. A similar holiday will debut soon on the routes to the north-eastern region.

Phung Quang Thang, Chairman of the Hanoi Travel Agents’ Association, said people’s travel behaviour is changing. People now tend to go on holidays in small groups so tour operators must stick together to create tours enabling them to travel by their own car or a rented one, he said, adding that the firms should become more sensitive to customers’ demand.

The Hanoi Department of Tourism is developing a variety of travel stimulus product group, namely heritage; sightseeing, leisure, ecotours, and craft villages; Hanoi’s signature cuisine; services for Hanoians at four- and five-star hotels; among others.

Host of events planned to revive travel demand hinh anh 2Centuries-old trees in Duong Lam Village on the outskirts of Hanoi attract lots of visitors. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

The department will also kick start an array of annual travel events, such as domestic travel stimulus festival, Hanoi craft villages and craft streets festival, and cuisine festival. The capital city is gearing up to welcome back international visitors during the 31st SEA Games slated for later this year.

At a tourism conference in Hanoi last weekend, Thang suggested cuisine will be a lifesaver for travel firms in Hanoi at the time of COVID-19. They should shift their eyes to night-time economy and local culinary culture, he said, citing the fact that even though the COVID-19 pandemic takes heavy toll on the tourism sector, some five-star hotels have gained big profit thanks to about 20 percent increase in revenue from their catering services.

Host of events planned to revive travel demand hinh anh 3A tranquil corner of Moc Chau in the northern mountainous province of Son La. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

A representative from Vietnam Airlines said the national flag carrier is cooperating with travel agencies to launch quality and all-inclusive holiday packages, including air tickets and hotels, at affordable rates.

The airline plans to open some extra 60 domestic routes, with hundreds of flights per day, and promotional deals on these routes will also be offered to small- and medium tour operators, in addition to large ones.

Director of Hanoi Tourism Nhu Thi Ngan said her company is making all possible effort to not only attract Hanoians to destinations all over the country but also lure visitors to Hanoi. The company has made every effort to keep tourists to stay in Hanoi longer by increasing their night-time experience and tours to new suburb places./.