Travel companies seek ways to stimulate domestic market hinh anh 1Vietnamese visitors have many opportunities to experience high-class services at preferential prices due to the impact of COVID-19 (Photo: VietnamPlus)
Hanoi (VNA) - Experts said that in order to stimulate demand for tourism there needs to be not only an affordable range of products and services in the sector but that these products and services also need to be of the highest quality, particularly when set against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

After three wave of COVID-19 outbreaks since early 2020, travel companies are operating with great uncertainty. Many businesses have even had to reduce their workforce or stop operations entirely.

To attract domestic tourists, for holidays such as National Reunification Day (April 30) or May Day, for example, travel companies were forced to adopt new and different strategies.

Vietnamese people travel to Vietnamese destinations

After more than a year of being closed to the world, the domestic tourism market, which previously only played a supporting role in the international tourism sector, has become a beacon for the country’s service industries.

Amid complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel firms have massively changed their operating models intending to fully exploit this ‘gold mine’. They realized that cheap prices are no longer the most attractive factor for visitors.

Travel companies seek ways to stimulate domestic market hinh anh 2Holidaymakers flock to domestic tourist destinations after the period of social distancing. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

According to the Head of the Communications Department of the Vietnam Tourism Association and General Director of Flamingo Redtours Nguyen Cong Hoan, instead of lowering service prices, businesses should focus on developing specific products for each target group to lure holiday-makers.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the “Vietnamese people travel to Vietnamese destinations” campaign to encourage Vietnamese citizens to travel domestically to support local businesses after social distancing measures were eased.

Chairman of the National Tourism Advisory Board Tran Trong Kien said the most important thing for travel firms now is to ensure they have quality products to offer.

Experts said that preferential pricing policies are completely unnecessary when the market is so volatile.

Travel companies seek ways to stimulate domestic market hinh anh 3Young people check-in at a beautiful beach in Binh Dinh. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

While travel companies are running promotional campaigns to stimulate the domestic demand, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has proposed to apply the cheapest rates for flight tickets to help travel firms overcome difficulties caused by the current global health crisis.

Diversifying tourism products to meet target groups

Thousands of representatives from tourism management agencies and enterprises recently gathered at the national domestic tourism forum in the northern province of Ninh Binh. The forum centred on the theme ‘Domestic Tourism - Power Force for Recovering Vietnam's Tourism in New Normal Situation' to discuss ways to promote domestic tourism.

Attendees underlined the necessity of diversifying tourism products and improving the quality and value to meet market demand.

Travel companies seek ways to stimulate domestic market hinh anh 4Tourists tend to travel in small groups or families. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Vu The Binh, Permanent Vice 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 and find new approaches and change methods and ways of thinking among tourism workers to revive the tourism market, he noted.

Travel companies seek ways to stimulate domestic market hinh anh 5Eo Gio in the central province of Binh Dinh’s Quy Nhon city was an attractive destination for local tourists in 2020 (Photo: VietnamPlus)

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

Hung 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, sports tourism and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism is among the most popular ways of travelling.

Domestic tourists tend to travel in small groups, book online and use their own means of transportation, he said.

Representatives shared several solutions to enhance the efficiency of tourism promotion.

Many participants proposed connecting localities with products.

Deputy Director of Vietravel Nguyen Le Huong suggested localities could offer special products connecting regions to each other with the countryside a strong point to promote.

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