Foreign arrivals may fall 60% amid Covid-19 epidemic

Under the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak, foreign tourist arrivals in Vietnam may fall by 50 – 60 percent during the epidemic period.

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The General Statistics Office forecast the number of foreign tourists to Vietnam at 644,000 in the first quarter, declining by about 800,000 compared to the non-Covid scenario.

The office said if the epidemic lasts through Q1, the country could suffer losses of about 2.3 billion USD in revenue from foreign tourists.

Nha Trang city in the southern central province of Khanh Hoa is predicted to be hardest affected as Chinese visitors account for the largest proportion of foreign arrivals there, over 70 percent in 2019.

 Meanwhile, many meetings and conferences have also been delayed to contain the disease spread, leading to a considerable decline in MICE tourists in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The statistics office noted air transportation will be heavily influenced by the coronavirus outbreak, adding that the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has halted licensing regular flights between Vietnam and China until the Government issues new directions.

Eleven airlines of China are operating 32 routes from 14 destinations in China to five destinations in Vietnam.

Due to the suspension of all Vietnam-China flights since February 1 afternoon, more than 80 flights between the two countries are cancelled every day on average.

The office suggested that to boost tourism, businesses and localities should maintain promotion activities in the markets with good growth in visitor numbers in 2019, as well as new and potential markets. Relevant agencies should also step up the establishment of Vietnam’s tourism promotion offices in key markets to attract more foreign travellers./.

VNA