|Tourists visit Cái Răng Floating Market in Cần Thơ City. — VNS Photo Thu Hằng|
HCM CITY — HCM City and 12 provinces and Cần Thơ City in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta will strengthen tourism linkages as part of efforts to develop more inter-regional travel products to attract tourists and revive the industry, authorities have said.
Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said concerted efforts by local authorities, travel firms, airlines, and other tourism stakeholders are needed to develop stimulus programmes that would help revive tourism, which was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the international travel market remaining closed, the domestic market plays a vital role in helping tourism businesses stay afloat, he told a conference in Cần Thơ City last Saturday.
HCM City and the city and 12 provinces in the delta signed a comprehensive agreement for tourism development in December last year.
But in the last six months the number of tourists visiting HCM City plummeted by 54.7 per cent year-on-year and the Mekong Delta by 51 per cent due to the pandemic, he said.
Local tourism authorities need to work closely with travel firms, airlines and tourist sites to develop more travel packages to boost domestic travel in the remaining six months of the year, he said.
As a gateway to the delta and other parts of the country, HCM City would create inter-regional tour packages, he promised.
He called on leading city-based travel firms to promote travel linkages with the delta and invest in tourist sites there to attract tourists.
More than 50 stimulus programmes have been launched under the agreement since it was signed.
Dương Tấn Hiển, deputy chairman of the Cần Thơ City People’s Committee, said the agreement helped expand markets and boost the domestic travel market.
HCM City is a major source market for the delta, he said.
Travel linkages between them help boost the mutual flow of tourists and diversify travel products to attract more tourists and spending, he said.
Local visitors account for two thirds of HCM City’s tourism market, according to its Department of Tourism, and their spending for nearly 60 per cent of its tourism revenues.
Domestic travellers account for the largest share of the delta’s tourism market and revenues.
A council for tourism development was set up on the occasion by HCM City and the city and 12 provinces in the delta, with its members being the leaders of their people’s committees.
Its chairman is Nguyễn Thành Phong, head of the HCM City People’s Committee. — VNS