Green connection promoted towards safe tourism

Friday, 2021-10-01 13:59:21
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Visitors are eager to a cycling tour to explore Ninh Binh Province. (Photo: Tran Yen/via NDO)
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NDO – Amidst the complicated and prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector must find a way to adapt to the current situation, in which safety is identified as a mandatory criterion for all tourism activities.

Green connection towards creating safe products is the most appropriate method in gradually restoring tourism in the new normal.

After four consecutive outbreaks of the pandemic, the tourism sector fell into a crisis when all activities of receiving guests were paralysed. As a result, many businesses were forced to stop their operation. However, in addition to the recent acceleration of vaccination, the resumption of intra-provincial tourism activities in some localities where the pandemic is basically under control and the implementation of policies on stimulating and resuming travel activities issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have brought many positive signals for the recovery of tourism sector. However, the problem is how to open the tourism market to meet visitors’ demands while ensuring the safety amidst the pandemic. In order to seek solutions, the Hanoi Travel Association (VISTA Hanoi), in collaboration with VGreen Sustainable Tourism Club, held a webinar themed “Chien Dich Xanh - Xanh VISTA Hanoi” (Green Campaign - Green VISTA Hanoi). According to the President of the VISTA Hanoi, Phung Quang Thang, it is crucial to identify domestic tourism as the driving force. Safety can only be controlled if the “green connection” – the safe connection between visitors and employees in the tourism industry – is established between destinations and services in the supply chain of services for visitors.

To do this, tourism products must meet five “green” criteria including: green passports, green businesses, green corridors, green destinations, and green services. In addition to the requirements of full vaccination, certificates of recovery from the epidemic and negative test certificates for travellers, the units should work together to develop tourism products according to self-contained services and tours with the close supervision of tour operators on the basis of planning the operation of safe tours for each type.

It is essential to make a specific change in providing services, from the transportation, accommodation, restaurants, and destinations. For example, in the transportation, the means of transportation, routes, attractions and waypoints must be fixed. In addition, the contactless check-in and check-out activities and the arrangement of rooms in groups and families with similar epidemiological factors should be applied to control the pandemic more easily. The specialised rooms for isolation should be also prepared. At restaurants, dining areas for groups or families, should be set up to minimise on buffets. The tightness and openness of the spaces and the capacity of green connection should be calculated carefully to arrange the number of tourists, ensuring a safe distance. VISTA’s leader also emphasised that the travel service providers should prepare for possible situations and plans to handle them. The travel companies also need to discuss and inform visitors of testing-related issues such as the number of tests, time of testing and incurred medical expenses right on the contracts. The insurers should consider the application of travel insurance on COVID-19 for tourists so that tourism sector can operate more confidently.

According to experts, in order to organise safe tourism programmes in a new normal, the localities need to announce the lists of safe tourism service providers and enhance their close linkages to limit barriers during the process of moving and connecting destinations. Bui Van Manh, Director of Ninh Binh Provincial Department of Tourism, said it is essential connect green zones to ensure safety for tourism activities. The leading units such as the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Vietnam Tourism Association should uphold their coordination role in developing specific criteria on green products, restaurants, and accommodation. On that basic, green tours among the localities will be conducted. The connection should also be piloted in selected localities first.

The Vietnam Tourism Association has developed a "national programme to restore domestic tourism to overcome the consequences of the fourth outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic”. Themed “Green connection for Vietnam’s tourism”, the programme featured safe criteria for all working positions in the sypply chain of services to guests; an appropriate framework for the organisation of tourism activities; guidelines for travel associations and enterprises to flexibly apply them to the actual situation, bringing confidence to visitors. Many businesses have also planned to deploy tourism products that meet the safety criteria during the epidemic season such as Hanoitourist with caravan tours to the Duong Lam ancient village, Hoa Lu ancient capital in Ninh Binh and southeastern and southwestern regions as well as Vietfoot Travel with cycling tours that are suitable for people of many ages.

Trang Anh
Translated by NDO