Fresh COVID-19 outbreak dents tourism industry

Concerns over COVID-19 forced Nguyen Thuy Quynh from Hanoi to cancel her family trip to the northern province of Thanh Hoa for the Reunification Day (April 30) and Labour Day (May 1) holiday which lasted four days from April 29 to May 2.

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Fresh COVID-19 outbreak dents tourism industry
The number of tourists arriving in Sam Son Beach on the occasion of Reunification Day (April 30) and Labour Day (May 1) have decreased due to concern over COVID-19 pandemic. Photo baothanhhoa.vn

Quynh said she had booked a hotel for her family near Sam Son Beach two weeks ago but decided to postpone the trip.

“We decided to stay at home on the holiday for my family’s safety,” she told Việt Nam News, adding that her mother is now 74 years old and vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

Quynh was among thousands of Vietnamese tourists who cancelled trips due to worries about new community infections.

Nguyen Gia Son, the owner of a hotel in Thanh Hoa City’s Le Van Huu Street, said 70 per cent of tourists cancelled their bookings.

He said many hotels in the city faced a similar situation.

According to Thanh Hoa Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as many as 374,000 tourists visited the province during the four-day holiday, 22 per cent below what had been expected. Many tours and bookings at tourist sites were cancelled due to concerns about COVID-19. The total revenue from tourism over the weekend was estimated at VND635.8 billion (US$27.5 million), a decline of 32.4 per cent against the same period last year.

Hanoi also recorded a sharp decrease in the number of domestic tourists during the holiday.

The city’s tourism sector had launched efforts to stimulate domestic travel in hopes of a holiday bump.

Many tourist accommodations in Hanoi slashed their prices and before the holiday, some resorts in suburban areas reported they were almost fully booked.

However, the resurgence of COVID-19 in the community had a severe impact on the industry.

Statistics from Hanoi’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism showed between 25-30 per cent of pre-booked rooms were cancelled.

Many tourist sites were forced to halt programmes and festivals which were set to attract a lot of people. The old village of Duong Lam postponed an exhibition of countryside markets while Bao Son Paradise Park postponed the Ocean Festival.

 

Other destinations nationwide also witnessed a sharp decrease in tourist numbers.

In Hai Phong City, the number of tourists who visited Cat Ba Island and Do Son Beach fell substantially. Domestic tourists to Do Son Beach reached only 110,000 and 40 per cent of customers cancelled their tours, according to Do Son District’s People’s Committee.

The committee said most tourist service establishments, local people and tourists basically complied with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on COVID-19 prevention and control.

Da Nang, a tourist hotspot in central Vietnam, also saw tourism activities face difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of tourists who visited famous sites in the city including Linh Ung Pagoda and Love Bridge in Da Nang was well below expectations.

Earlier, Da Nang City’s Tourist Department said the total number of visitors to the city was estimated to reach 130,000.

In addition to cancelling tours, a number of hotels in the city faced a situation where many people arrived in Da Nang but changed their plans and checked out earlier than expected.

Tran Van Tu, the owner of a three-star hotel on Vo Nguyen Giap Street, said early check-outs due to fear of the disease had hit hard.

“The cancellation of reservations and early check-outs seriously affected our business,” he told Lao Động (Labour) newspaper.

Cao Tri Dung, chairman of Da Nang Tourism Association, said about 20 per cent of tourists cancelled their tours to the city, including large groups.

In addition, local authorities postponed several cultural and sports programmes, including the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival, to ensure safety. 

VNS