Post-Covid-19 tourism promotions trigger concern

Tourism operators in HCMC are set to offer promotions to attract tourists after the Covid-19 outbreak.

Post-Covid-19 tourism promotions trigger concern

Bui Ta Hoang Vu (standing), director of the HCMC Tourism Department, speaks at a meeting on February 17 to discuss measures to restore the city’s tourism sector after Covid-19

But if service providers offer heavy discounts to quickly reduce the impact of losses due to the disease, it will be hard for them to return to their standard prices, heard attendees at a meeting on February 17.

Travel and hotel operators in the city attended the meeting, held by the HCMC Tourism Department, to discuss measures to recover the tourism sector following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Most of the operators had approved a plan to offer good deals to attract tourists. Some noted that discounts of 30%-35% could be effective, adding that service providers such as aviation and hotel operators should cooperate to restore the sector.

However, service prices for promotion programs should be lowered effectively so that services can easily be offered at regular prices when the local market bounces back, they remarked.

A Park Hyatt Saigon representative suggested the operators provide customers with various free services such as gifts instead of offering large discounts.

Similarly, Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of travel firm Viet Excursions, pointed out that it was not a sound move to request hotels to slash room rates of some VND5 million in half. Hotels could run buy-one-get-one-free programs, aiming to woo travelers as well as encourage them to experience other services, he suggested.


Many enterprises represented at the meeting also requested more information on efforts to control Covid-19 from local authorities. They are in need of official online channels, available in different languages, to reassure tourists amid fears of the disease. The sooner tourists are fully briefed on the situation, the better hotels can reduce the number of booking cancellations.

According to Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang, deputy director of Vietravel Company, official information on the issue from local authorities could help travel staff recommend safe destinations to tourists during the outbreak.

In addition, tour guides can capture photos of tourists currently enjoying their time in Vietnam, posting them on social media platforms to spread upbeat messages about local destinations that are free of the disease and must be added to travel bucket lists, said Nguyen Ngoc Toan, director of tour firm Images Travel.

In the coming months, the municipal tourism authority will take multiple steps to support local tour firms and hotels affected by the disease, including ramping up promotion and marketing activities, while seeking financial support from the Government. SGT

Dao Loan