Foreign visitors at the Củ Chi Tunnels in HCM City. VNS Photo Thu Hằng
HCM CITY — HCM City received less than 1.2 million foreign tourists in the first two months of the year, a 22 per cent decline year-on-year, because of the novel coronavirus epidemic, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.
It resulted in a 11 per cent drop in tourism revenues to around VNĐ21 trillion (US$905.6 million).
In February the number of foreign tourists plummeted by 52 per cent to 346,650, while revenues were down 30 per cent to VNĐ 8.1 trillion ($349.4 million).
The city’s tourism industry was directly affected by a sharp drop in visitor numbers from China and South Korea, its two major source markets, Võ Thị Ngọc Thúy, deputy director of the department, said.
Travel firms have been hit hard with revenues dropping by 40-60 per cent, she said.
The industry is now focusing on efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus and plans for recovery after the epidemic ends, she said.
The People’s Committee has instructed the department to propose solutions to fulfill the targets set for this year.
It has also sought its advice on the establishment of a council for tourism development with the participation of enterprises, local and international experts and official agencies. — VNS