Vietnam Int’l Travel Mart to take place in August hinh anh 1At the VITM 2019 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2020, themed “Vietnamese tourism looks toward the future,” is slated for August 12-15 in Hanoi.

Activities within the fair aim to encourage the sector to overcome difficulties caused by COVID-19 to become an economic spearhead.

Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on July 9, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said organisers encourage participating firms and organisations to raise initiatives in tourism management and business, in combination with technological application.

Apart from domestic companies and agencies, this year’s event is expected to welcome foreign firms and offices based in Vietnam, with those from Colombia to join for the first time.

About 10,000 air tickets and 5,000 budget tours are set to be put for sale during the fair.

There will be a forum on Vietnamese tourism with the participation of tech and tourism experts from Google and, along with the VITM Marathon to be held online from July 31 to August 9 with the aim of connecting the Vietnamese tourism community.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought down the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam to close to 3.7 million in the first half of the year, a 57 percent decline year-on-year. 
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), domestic tourists also fell by nearly 50 percent to 23 million. Average occupancy at lodging facilities was about 20 percent.

Tourism revenue was estimated to tumble 48 percent year-on-year to 176.8 trillion VND (7.6 billion USD).

VNAT reported that the pandemic forced 95 percent of travel companies nationwide to cease operations during the first half, with a large number of people losing their jobs as a result.

To give the sector a much-needed boost, at the beginning of May the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched the “Vietnamese people travel in Vietnam” campaign, which has been very much welcomed by localities and companies around the country. 

Two months on, the number of domestic flights has recovered while a number of new routes have been launched. Occupancy has increased to 50-60 percent on weekdays and to 80-90 percent on weekends. The number of domestic travellers in June totalled 7 million, a 2.3-fold rise against May.

At a conference reviewing the sector’s performance in the first half, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien urged the implementation of drastic measures to stimulate domestic tourism.

He also required that VNAT make preparation to resume international tourism activities once this is allowed./.