HCM CITY (VNS)— The HCM City Tourism Association has unveiled a domestic tourism stimulation programme, hoping a successful year for inbound tourism.
Speaking at a meeting held on Wednesday to review the association's performance last year and set tasks for this year, Nguyen Thi Khanh, its deputy chairwoman, said:
"Many inbound tour prices were discounted by 30 per cent last year thanks to support from Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air who cut fares by 40 per cent on routes to HCM City, Ha Noi, Hai phong, Da Nang, Da Lat, and Phu Quoc."
HTA member companies had last year utilised 22,810 cheap tickets and other discount services to serve tourists.
Amid the current economic downturn and unreasonable policies such as hiking visa fees and increasing security deposits to be paid by travel firms, the tourism industry was expected to face more difficulties this year.
Many travel companies could achieve higher revenues this year, but would also incur higher costs.
To help its members stay afloat, besides co-operating with airlines to get cheap air tickets, HTA would also co-operate with members of other travel associations to stimulate demand.
It would continue to petition authorities to resolve difficulties faced by travel companies from Government policies.
With HCM City this year focusing on developing waterway tourism, HTA and the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism planned to involve the association's members with the programme.
"The association will support outlying districts to develop eco-tourism sites to attract domestic and foreign visitors."
Enhancing international co-operation to develop the tourism industry would be among its tasks for the year.
It would also undertake other activities like upgrading its website with an English version to help members market their products better.
Nguyen Van Tan, director of TNT Travel Company, said HTA should regularly organise activities to link up travel companies with each other and with other professional associations like the Saigon Professional Chefs Association and hotel and tour guides associations.
Nguyen Thanh Rum, director of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, hailed the efforts made by the association last year and urged it to enhance cooperation programmes with international tourism associations.
Nguyen Huu Tho, chairman of the Viet Nam Tourism Association, said: "This year and the years to come will be very difficult for the tourism industry because of the impacts of the world economic downturn.
"This requires us to take active steps to stimulate tourism demand." — VNS