Hanoi's tourism sector ready for revival

Saturday, 2021-10-16 18:00:51
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Visitors check their body temperature and make a medical declaration before visiting the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Photo: MINH HA
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NDO - Hanoi has just agreed to pilot the reopening of the route from Hanoi to Dien Bien and vice versa. The Department of Transport is urgently preparing to put road passenger transport service back into operation. From October 14, museums and parks have reopened to welcome visitors, while hotels and accommodation business establishments were given permission to operate. Before that, the Hanoi Municipal Department of Tourism had readied safety plans to revive Hanoi tourism with "greener" and fresher development.

According to the Hanoi Department of Tourism, in the first nine months of 2021, Hanoi tourism only received 2.92 million domestic visitors, down 57.5% from the same period in 2020. Total revenue from domestic tourism decreased by 66.2% from the same period last year, reaching about VND8.17 trillion. Room occupancy of hotels reached 21.4%, down 6.6% from the same period in 2020.

It is estimated that from May until now, in Hanoi, more than 95% of tourism businesses (both travel and accommodation) have temporarily stopped operating. This situation has caused more than 90% of the workforce to quit or move to another field due to lack of work. According to experts in the tourism industry, the safe "opening of the door" in the new normal period is an urgent task.

These days, Hanoi tourism is continuously receiving good signals, as the traffic problem is gradually being removed. More domestic routes are being opened for piloting. Road passenger transport is being urgently prepared for the return to operation.

And recently, the Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee signed and promulgated Official Dispatch No. 21 on implementing measures to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic in Hanoi in the new situation. Accordingly, since October 14, Hanoi is allowing on-site dining and the reopening of parks, hotels and public transportation. Buses and taxis may operate as directed by the Hanoi Department of Transport. Museums and parks may also reopen, but groups must not exceed 10 people each. Hotels and accommodation business establishments may resume operation at no more than 50% of their capacity. Restaurants and other food and beverage establishments (except businesses that sell alcohol and beer) are allowed to offer on-site dining at half of their maximum capacity.

Phung Quang Thang, President of the Hanoi Travel Association said that currently, the coverage of COVID-19 vaccines in provinces and cities including Hanoi is increasingly wide, the cost and time for COVID-19 testing is getting cheaper and faster. It is a favourable condition for provinces and cities with good control of the epidemic to link and coordinate with travel agencies to transport tourists to ensure safety criteria in the new situation.

In order for the capital's tourism industry to recover soon and seize the opportunity to accelerate, the Hanoi Department of Tourism has advised that the Hanoi People's Committee develop a detailed plan to restore and develop tourism activities in the capital in association with COVID-19 prevention and control from now until the end of the year.

Director of Hanoi Department of Tourism Dang Huong Giang said that the Department has developed and proposed phases of tourism opening based on the guidance of "Safe adaptation to the COVID-19 epidemic" associated with four phases.

It is expected that the tourism industry will open under the third phase right in October, allowing qualified accommodation establishments, tourist destinations, and tour operators to reopen, mainly towards serving tourists who are Hanoi residents participating in the tour "Hanoi people travel Hanoi".

Building a "green" tour is an important solution in attracting tourists in the "post-COVID-19" period, so, in the coming time, Hanoi's tourism industry will focus on improving the quality of tourism products and attractions associated with heritage - relics and craft villages in districts and towns in the city. At the same time, Hanoi will encourage businesses to implement experience tourism, resorts combined with healthcare, and homestay tourism, in which Ba Vi, Son Tay, Soc Son are the focus.

In order to ensure absolute safety for tourists, businesses and people at the destination, the Hanoi tourism industry will coordinate with relevant sectors to advise the Hanoi People's Committee to develop a set of safety guidelines for hotels, tourist attractions, travel and services. In particular, it will detail criteria and procedures for COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control in the new situation for units in order to build "green" tourist attractions, "green" accommodation facilities, and "green" services to meet the needs of the people.

Deputy Director of Hanoi Department of Tourism Tran Trung Hieu said that travel agencies, accommodation, transportation and destinations all show a ready attitude, with quality and safe products, to serve tourists when Hanoi city allows to operate again. Many large tourism associations, clubs and businesses in the area have formed and prepared safe tourism products for the post-epidemic period. In the process of developing many new tourism products, the Hanoi tourism industry continues to cooperate with the association and support businesses to connect with localities, with a focus on organising activities to promote tourism products and destinations in Hanoi in the coming time.