Travel firms need “oxygen” to stay alive hinh anh 1Vietnamese tourism sector needs urgent support like “oxygen” for their existence. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – Waiting for the Government to launch a pilot programme to welcome international tourists to Phu Quoc island, travel and aviation firms need urgent support like “oxygen” for their existence, according to insiders.

Through four waves of COVID-19, many travel service suppliers and tourism enterprises have to shut down or switch to other business sectors. The pandemic has caused the most devastating impacts on even strongest firms.

So far, the majority of travel firms have acknowledged that they have exhausted in both financial and human resources. What they need now is “respirators” from practical actions from State agencies, sectors and localities.

Resumption of domestic tourism needed

Experts held that Vietnam should learn to safely live with COVID-19 like what Singapore is doing, considering the pandemic as the annual flu wave. CEO of Lux Group Pham Ha said that while waiting for the Government to pilot the welcoming of international tourists to Phu Quoc, travel and aviation firms are in need of the resumption of domestic tourism activities to maintain their operation.

VietSense Travel CEO Nguyen Van Tai said that currently, all pandemic hots pots are big cities and industrial hubs, not localities that are rich in tourism resources. This means the majority of tourism sites inside the countries are “green zones”, making it possible for them to welcome visitors.

Tourists prepare to start their trip to explore Son Doong Cave (Photo: VietnamPlus)

After two years of standstill, despite economic downturn, experts held that the demand for travelling will recover from late 2021 to the first half of the next year.

“The upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) will mark the recovery of tourism sector despite the existence of COVID-19,” Tai held.

As the country returns to the new normal situation, all sectors will become active again, and domestic tourism will boom with many routes, he said, adding that safe tourism and near trips with family and small groups to quiet places in mountainous and sea areas, using private vehicles will be a major trend.

According to insiders, in the new period when visitors tend to green up their life, cruise ships will be among the best choices, and this means Ha Long and Cat Ba will recover fast.

Recommendations from insiders

Along optimism about the recovery path ahead, many firms are worried of the future in the post-pandemic period due to their exhausted conditions after four waves of COVID-19.

Travel firms need “oxygen” to stay alive hinh anh 2In the post-pandemic period, tourists tend to seek nature-friendly places to visit. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

“We cannot provide high-end tourism services without high-quality human resources. Particularly, we are facing many difficulties in accessing research data on consumption habits and guidelines from State agencies such as the Departments of Tourism, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Vietnam Travel Association, so that we will know what our customers are seeking and what products are suitable to particular customer groups,” Ha stated.  

Representatives from tourism service suppliers held that State management agencies should create more favourable mechanisms and policies to the tourism sector, visa policy loosened for foreign visitors, and promotion activities made effective both inside and outside the country, focusing on affirming the national trademark through digital marketing.

Tran Trong Kien, Chairman of the Travel Advisory Board (TAB), said that COVID-19 pandemic may linger to 2024-2025 and cause negative impacts on the social life. However, the world is switching to safely living with the pandemic, that is why Vietnam should also change and adapt to the situation with suitable support policies to ensure the health of businesses.

In a long term, Vietnam needs a strategy for attracting tourists with a long vision and the close coordination among central agencies and localities, while balancing all markets to avoid dependence on only a few markets, he said.

Travel firms need “oxygen” to stay alive hinh anh 3Sunrise over Hoang Lien Son mountain range. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Ha held that in order to revive the tourism sector, State management agencies and localities should join hands in mulling over detail plans and solutions for all possible circumstances./.