Quang Ninh reopened its tourism attractions on May 1 and has spent the past two weeks forming a recovery plan to bounce back from economic disruption caused by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
That recovery may take quite a while though, as many Vietnamese haven’t yet worked up the courage to travel, said Dang Huy Hau, the province’s standing vice-chairman, at a meeting held Tuesday to discuss rebooting local tourism.
“In order to attract tourists, it is important to assure those who come to Quang Ninh that we offer high-quality service, a healthy environment, and plenty of discounts,” Hau said.
|An aerial view of the Sun World Ha Long Complex in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre
The plan to jumpstart the local tourism economy will begin with a stimulus package aimed at providing incentives for domestic travelers to visit the province, as well as the creation of an alliance amongst tourism businesses which will help provide a framework for their support of each other during the recovery, according to Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of the provincial Department of Tourism.
Many local enterprises are on board with the department’s proposal for tourism companies to offer major discounts, including Tung Lam Development JSC – the operator of a cable car system at the Complex of Yen Tu Monuments and Landscape – as well as the Typhoon Water Park at the Sun World Ha Long Complex.
According to Thuy, such discounts have already helped boost tourism numbers, with over 3,300 visitors reported at Yen Tu from May 1 to 10 and more than 2,500 to Ha Long Bay on the weekend ending May 10.
|People visit the Yen Tu Monuments and Landscape Complex in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam in this undated photo. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre
In the long run, the province plans to organize as many as 71 cultural and sporting events to draw in visitors between now and October.
The provincial People’s Committee has also submitted a proposal to its People’s Council asking for a resolution proclaiming the administration’s support for tourism recovery activities, including the elimination of admission charges for Vietnamese tourists visiting Ha Long Bay, Yen Tu, and the Quang Ninh Museum throughout the month of May and on some holidays in June and July.
It also asked that a ‘Buy 1 Get 1’ admission be offered at those same three attractions on non-holidays.
The province currently operates free-of-charge transfers between Van Don International Airport and Uong Bi City — where the Yen Tu tourism complex is located — from now until December 31.
|A giant Ferris wheel at the Sun World Ha Long Complex in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre
On a national scale, the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has announced a sixth-month campaign to encourage Vietnamese citizens to travel to domestic destinations in order to support local businesses.
In support of this campaign, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has launched a forum called ‘Impressive Vietnam’ on its daily printed newspaper and online publications to encourage and promulgate supportive ideas and suggestions from experts, local leaders, and businesses in the services, tourism, and aviation industries.
|Canoes and tourist boats dock at a wharf on Tuan Chau Island in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam in this undated photo. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre
A Tuoi Tre-backed writing contest encouraging readers to introduce domestic destinations to the public, named ‘Impression of my hometown’, has also kicked off.
In addition, Tuoi Tre will coordinate with tourism management agencies, local tourism associations, and enterprises to organize seminars and discussions focused on boosting local tourism
The newspaper will also offer special support to local tourism businesses by discounting prices to promote their products and services on its publications.