Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for a long-term plan to promote domestic tourism, particularly in the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế.
It is part of efforts made by the authority to compensate for negative impacts faced by these provinces as a result of mass fish deaths in early April.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, nearly 100 tonnes of fish were washed ashore to these central provinces. The fish die-off along the coast has resulted in less business from tourists, many whom are cautious to avoid seafood or the area altogether.
A recent report compiled by the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that tourism in the central province has been declining.
In May alone, the number of foreign tourists to Quảng Bình Province decreased by 44 per cent compared to the same period last year, and visitors to Quảng Trị Province plunged by half.
A representative of Viettravel tourism company told the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that they had to change the menu on their tours to central provinces and even cancel some trips and offer refunds to tourists who had health concerns.
Many hotels and restaurants stand high risks of incurring losses as tourists continue to worry about seafood safety and diseases.
To offset the losses, VNAT asked the departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the four provinces to host tourism campaigns on social and media networks to encourage restaurants, souvenir shops and companies that provide accommodation services to launch promotion campaigns targeting domestic tourists.
Resuming tourism operations in central provinces should be combined with sports activities on the beach, especially the fifth Asian Beach Games to be held this September and October in central Đà Nẵng, VNAT said.
The administration also suggested that central localities prepare for any tourism risks that may arise and draw on their experiences from the previous incident.
Regarding short-term plans, VNAT proposed tour packages at favourable prices.
This month, the administration’s inspection team will make fact-finding tours and hold workshops to develop new tourism products with specific characteristics to replace traditional sea tourism products.
VNAT will also co-operate with relevant agencies to update addresses of businesses that sell safe seafood to earn tourists’ trust.
The Institute for Tourism Development Research and VNAT will hold conferences on the central region’s tourism situation and provide support to help the four provinces revise their tourism plans.
At least two media visits for journalists and photographers will be held from now until October to study the facts and report about religious tourism, history, culture and destinations of the central region.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc assigned appropriate bodies to invite domestic and foreign consultants to independently investigate the fish deaths.
The cause of the incident will be announced this month, the Minister of Information and Communications said last week. — VNS