Tourism sector’s 2020 losses estimated at US$23 billion

Vietnam’s tourism sector may lose US$23 billion in revenue this year due to the impact of Covid-19, stated Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien at a question-and-answer session at the National Assembly’s 10th sitting.

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Tourism sector’s 2020 losses estimated at US$23 billion

Foreign tourists are seen at a beach in Phan Thiet City of Binh Thuan Province – Photo: Dao Loan

Some experts noted that travel firms can temporarily survive thanks to the domestic market. However, it is not easy to exploit the market during this hard time.

Earlier, the sector’s losses were estimated at US$5.9-7.7 billion if the pandemic lasted until the summer, which was a shock to the sector. However, the losses are now forecast to be much higher.

Last year, the country welcomed 18 million international visitors and 85 million local tourists, earning US$35 billion, Minister Thien said.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals plunged over 80% and domestic visitors over 50% this year, making 2020 an extremely tough year for the tourism sector.

More than half of the revenue of Vietnam’s tourism comes from the international tourism segment. Therefore, it is hard to help the sector recover this year or next year amid the ongoing complicated developments of the pandemic worldwide.

It will take many years for the tourism and other relevant sectors, especially aviation, to recover, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said at a travel conference in Phu Tho on November 14.

Nguyen Trung Khanh, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, told the Saigon Times that travel firms would find it more difficult to do business in the coming periods despite programs to stimulate domestic tourism.

In addition, the number of potential tourists is smaller as the financial capacity of enterprises and residents has been greatly affected after nine months of combating the pandemic.

In November and December, the demand for travel tends to be low, so the situation is not expected to improve.

Although many travel firms have introduced various programs, the local market has yet to recover, said Nguyen Ngoc An, deputy general director of Fiditour JSC.

 

Meanwhile, many other entrepreneurs said companies would find it hard to even exist if they depend on the domestic market alone.

At present, travel firms are struggling with the difficulties triggered by not only Covid-19 but also the floods in the central region.

Tours to the region, which had earlier attracted a large number of tourists, have been cancelled since July.

Since last week, Danang City has launched multiple programs to promote tourism and connect with travel firms in HCMC. However, many companies cannot organize tours to the region due to the recent storms.

Nguyen Huu Y Yen, general director of Saigontourist, said the company has arranged tours to destinations in the north and south only, such as the northwestern and northeastern regions, Long Hai in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Tay Ninh and Dalat City of Lam Dong Province.

Tourism management agencies have also enhanced programs to attract local tourists. In HCMC, the tourism sector has signed agreements with the authorities of northwestern localities to boost the number of tourists. In the coming periods, the city will work with localities in the northeastern and central regions.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism will also conduct a program to promote tourism services in Phu Quoc Island off Kien Giang Province next week. The program is expected to be attended by representatives of travel firms, media agencies and key opinion leaders.

Moreover, some localities in the Mekong Delta have come up with programs to attract tourists, especially those from HCMC, to reduce the hardships facing the tourism sector. SGT
 
Dao Loan