Following Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính's call to get companies involved in the vaccination programme, the Việt Nam Tourism Association (VITA) has contacted travel associations in cities and provinces nationwide to call for their support.
Most tourism enterprises have responded positively.
The association’s chairman Vũ Thế Bình said it would report to the Government and the Ministry of Health to ask for support to help travel enterprises contribute financial expenses to vaccinate tourism staff and their families.
“The association hopes the Government will persuade international partners, agencies and companies to co-operate to bring vaccines to Việt Nam while domestic enterprises will pay fees,” he said.
“Getting the vaccine injections is the main way, the crucial way, to erase COVID-19,” he said.
Foreign visitors at Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary in central province of Quảng Nam. VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Trung
Nearly 81,000 people working in tourism have registered for inoculation so far.
Bình said the fact that enterprises are willing to support the Government in the vaccine campaign will hasten the achievement of herd immunity while saving State funds.
“We have also encouraged travel enterprises to contribute money to the Government's vaccine fund,” he added.
Nguyễn Hoàng Vũ, chairman of Bình Định Tourism Association, said he totally supported the programme and has encouraged the association’s members to join in.
“Tourism activities in Khánh Hòa have been frozen,” said Hoàng Văn Vinh, chairman of Khánh Hòa Tourism Association. “No hotels have dared to open the doors except those which have received guests for quarantine.
“Only by getting injections can we reach the herd immunity soon and control the situation like before,” he said.
Trần Anh Tuấn, Deputy Director of BRG Group Ltd Company, said most of his staff are willing to get injections.
“The directing boards will ask member companies to contribute fees to inject 21,000 staff of the group throughout the country,” he said.
Mường Thanh JSC has registered to inoculate 10,000 staff working at 58 hotels, 41 of which are rated 4-5 stars level, at the enterprise’s cost. The company has also made contributions to the national fund for vaccines.
Đỗ Trọng Hiệp, chairman of Thái Nguyên Tourism Association, said the injection will give tourism workers the power to wipe away the virus.
Trần Đoàn Thế Duy, general director of Viettravel, said the company has registered to inject the company’s staff and their families.
A group of Vietnamese visitors taking a tour by Viettravel in Japan. File Photo
“If it is possible, we want to register for our clients as well,” he said.
The company will pay the injection fee for its staff and clients while encouraging its staff to contribute to the national fund.
There are some 10 per cent of tourism enterprises still in operation, though only with key staff. The other 90 per cent have ceased their operations due to COVID-19.
Bình said the association is ready to host the annual Vietnam International Travel Mart 2021.
“We will announce a month before the organising time if we can hold it this year,” he said. “When the pandemic is under control and does not spread among the community, then we will resume domestic tourism activities and prepare for opening the door to international tourists if it is possible.”
In 2019, Việt Nam recorded 18 million international tourists and 85 million domestic tourists. Total income from tourism topped VNĐ720 trillion (US$31 billion), making up 9.2 per cent of national GDP. The sector employed 2.9 million people.
In 2020, the number of international visitors to Việt Nam was 3.7 million, a 79 per cent decrease against 2019, domestic travellers were 56 million, a 34 per cent decrease, and income from the sector was VND312 trillion, a 58 per cent decrease.
Some 40-60 per cent of tourism workers have lost their jobs or been forced to reduce working hours, 95 international travel agencies stopped operations and many hotels have cut their room capacity to 10-15 per cent.
Trần Văn Khoa, director of Jack Trần Tours in the central town of Hội An, said he and his colleagues in Quảng Nam Province want tourism workers and the whole population to get injections by the end of this year so Việt Nam can receive international tourists in the first quarter of next year.
Foreign visitors join a farm tour offered by Jack Trần Tours company. Photo courtesy of Jack Trần Tours
“Vaccines will be like both an essential oxygen source and a lifebuoy to save the tourism sector,” he said.
“I also highly appreciate the proper way guided by PM Phạm Minh Chính and the Ministry of Health in prevention and fighting against the pandemic, especially the approach to vaccine sources,” he said. VNS