Tourists to Thừa Thiên-Huế previously were mainly from Europe, America, Korea and China but now only those from domestic markets. Photo baothuathienhue.vn
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — The central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế is mobilising all efforts to boost the recovery of tourism in the next year.
The province has announced plans with different three scenarios for the local tourism sector in the near future and for the whole year of 2021 based on COVID-19 developments.
Solutions for the plans were discussed during the 11th session of the provincial People’s Council (seventh tenure) that concluded last week.
Under the first scenario which was unexpected to occur, if the pandemic is yet to be controlled both nationally and internationally, the province expects to welcome only 2-2.2 million visitors, mainly domestic tourists, and earn VNĐ4-4.4 trillion (about US$173-190 million) from the sector.
In the second option, if the COVID-19 pandemic is well contained domestically but not many international flights to major tourism markets resume except some nearby ones which are declared relatively safe, the province aims to serve 3 – 3.5 million holidaymakers of whom 80 per cent are domestic tourists, earning an estimated VNĐ6.5-7 trillion.
Under the last scenario, if COVID-19 is controlled both at home and abroad thanks to vaccines, Thừa Thiên-Huế hopes to welcome 4-4.5 million tourists, and pocket more than VNĐ8 trillion from the industry in 2021.
This year, the total number of tourists to the locality is estimated at only 1.7 million.
According to Le Hữu Minh, Acting Head of the provincial Department of Tourism, the second option seemed most relevant to the province's conditions and to reach the target, it should focus more on the message 'Huế is a safe, tourist-friendly destination' and continue to ensure pandemic prevention and control.
The official said the department used an app called 'Blue map' to promote safe destinations among vacationers.
He suggested developing leisure tourism apart from culture and heritage tourism products amid the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19, saying local leaders should help remove difficulties for tourism projects.
"The tourism market has changed. Tourists to Thừa Thiên-Huế previously were mainly from Europe, America, South Korea and China but now only those from domestic markets come. There will be fierce competition among the destinations in the country thus it requires the province to strengthen service products especially focusing more on vocation tourism, culture and heritage," said Minh.
Meanwhile, Head of the province's Department of Culture and Sports Phan Thanh Hải said experts warned that international travel would not return to normal until at least 2023, so the domestic market will still play the most important target for the provincial tourism industry.
"Culture and heritage tourism is still a sustainable product of Huế, however, a new approach is needed. Currently, the province is building brand names such as 'Huế - The Capital of Cuisine', 'Huế - The Capital of áo dài'. This is the right, sustainable and long-term development direction," according to the official.
In an effort to recover local tourism in the short term, Thừa Thiên-Huế will hold various cultural and sports events this month, including a marathon with the participation of about 7,000-8,000 people, along with programmes promoting áo dài (Việt Nam’s traditional dress) and local cuisine from December 18-20. — VNS