Tour Operators Grieve Closure of Tourist Sites in Hanoi Due to Epidemic

The Hanoitimes - According to recent statistics from the Hanoi Department of Tourism, the number of arrivals to the city was 2.4 million in January, slightly down 3.5% year-on-year.

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According to a report by Tuoi Tre newspaper, travel agencies have expressed concern about the impact of the temporary closure of historical relics and popular landmarks in Hanoi due to the coronavirus outbreak. It is feared that this situation will discourage international arrivals and have negative effects on the revenue of these agencies.

Dear visitors,
We would like to inform you that Tay Ho Pagoda will be temporarily closed starting from February 5. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and we appreciate your understanding.
Thank you.

The closure of historical relics has resulted in a tourism embargo.

The Municipal Department of Culture and Sport, in response to a request from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, has temporarily closed all historical and tourist sites in Hanoi.

According to a spokesperson from the Hoan Kiem district, the utmost priority is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, even though it may have negative consequences for the tourism industry.

The recent decision has greatly impacted travel agencies in Hanoi, delivering a crippling blow. Nguyen Tien Dat, Director of AZA Travel, likened the unexpected closure to a complete halt in the tourism industry.

“Our travel company, like many others in the industry, has experienced significant challenges due to the widespread effects of the nCoV outbreak,” stated Dat, emphasizing the impact on international tour operators.

The situation regarding the epidemic in Vietnam is currently well-managed, with only a small number of infections and no reported deaths. It is therefore unnecessary to implement extreme measures such as closing all historical sites, which would negatively impact travel companies. Taking such actions could give the impression that Vietnam does not have a market-based economy and could harm the reputation of Vietnam’s tourism industry,” stated Dat.

Hanoi’s Tourism Industry Faces Severe Losses Amidst Pandemic

According to recent statistics released by the Hanoi Department of Tourism, the number of arrivals to the city in the month of January stood at 2.4 million, representing a slight decrease of 3.5% compared to the previous year. Analysis of the data reveals that the decline was primarily driven by a decrease of approximately 9% in the number of international tourists, while the number of domestic tourists only saw a marginal reduction of 2%.

In the initial nine days of the Lunar New Year, spanning from Lunar December 29 to Lunar January 7, the count of foreign tourists who opted for overnight stays experienced a decline of 13% compared to the previous year. The total figure tallied close to 87,000 individuals, with Chinese arrivals witnessing a significant dip of 47% to approximately 14,000.

During the month of January 2020, the average hotel occupancy rate reached approximately 54.4%. This reflects a significant decline of 15.5 percentage points compared to the previous period.

As of February 2, the travel industry has witnessed a considerable decline in bookings and tourist activities. More specifically, over 13,000 hotel room bookings have been canceled. The inbound and outbound tourism sectors have also experienced a downturn, with approximately 7,600 inbound tourists and 7,100 outbound tourists canceling their reservations. Furthermore, transport operations have seen a decrease of 30-50%, while popular destinations have observed a significant drop in visitor numbers, ranging from 30-50%.

Hanoi boasts a robust tourism industry, with over 1,300 travel companies and 3,000 accommodation establishments.