Tourism authorities juggle dual task: Flattening disease curve, raising visitor curve

 The Covid-19 outbreak has caused massive damage to the tourism industry around the world, and Vietnam is no exception. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and tourism agencies have been brainstorming in order to cope with the crisis and plan the industry’s recovery.

tourism authorities juggle dual task flattening disease curve raising visitor curve
Focusing on methodical tourism promotion in the post Covid-19 period is essential

Charting scenarios

VNAT Deputy Director General Ngo Hoai Chung said the strength of the tourism industry relies on tour operators, but the impending bankruptcies of many threaten the industry’s development in the future.

The tourism industry has developed many growth scenarios for the short term, with the most optimistic setting the end of June as a re-opening date but most predictions foreseeing full activity only in early 2021.

Currently, the tourism industry has been focusing on the dual task of implementing measures to curb the pandemic and developing plans to promote tourism to global markets after flattening the coronavirus curve. Accordingly, VNAT has coordinated with the Vietnam Airlines Corporation on a tourism stimulus plan and developed a tourism promotion plan to attract international tourists once restrictions are lifted.

VNAT has also asked tour operators to report business results over the past three years, assess the damage caused by the epidemic, proposed support packages for businesses and specific measures to help recover the tourism industry post Covid-19. “VNAT considers business performance as substantial grounds to present concrete proposals in case the pandemic lasts longer and develops more complex movements,” said Chung.

Global tourism recovery

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) predicts a 20-30 percent drop in the number of international tourists in 2020 and gross revenue decline of US$300-450 billion, up to almost one third of US$1.5 trillion in 2019 global revenue.

VNAT says the specialized UN tourism agency has proposed many measures to cope with the pandemic, such as tightening partnerships among governments worldwide and private sectors to enhance global cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 and urging authorities to set tourism as a central recovery goal in the near term.

The UNWTO recently launched an innovation competition it called “Healing Solutions for the Tourism Challenge” to reach startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and existing technologies to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on tourism through health, economic and destination recovery solutions. The agency received over 1,000 applications from over 100 countries.

Ngo Hoai Chung, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism:

Relevant agencies and businesses in the tourism industry need to stay calm while developing recovery strategies,

enhance cooperation, increase employee productivity and focus on promoting programs for the post-pandemic


Hoa Quynh