Hà Văn Siêu, Deputy Director-General of Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, talks to Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper about Việt Nam’s policy to develop the domestic market in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
Can you please talk in detail about the programme Người Việt Nam đi du lịch Việt Nam (Vietnamese people travel in Việt Nam)?
A key objective of the programme is to restore the domestic tourism market. It is also a key mission of the Vietnamese tourism sector when the COVID-19 pandemic is well under control.
Based on what is already available in the country, the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism has launched a programme calling on Vietnamese people to join tours to explore the beauty of their homeland. The programme is based on already available physical conditions, tourism infrastructure and other related matters to welcome new tourists. The Vietnamese tourist sector is ready to welcome both domestic and foreign tourists. But for the time being, priority is given to the domestic tourists.
Service providers have joined to create a high quality and safe tours as what had been organised before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred.
Tourism is an integrated economy, that’s why when all activities relating to tourism have returned to normal, it will become a driving force to push other economic sectors to restore activities. With a population of more than 95 million, I’m pretty sure the restoration of the tourism sector will continue to create more jobs for many people – an important driving force for the national economy to develop.
The programme calling on Vietnamese people to travel domestically also aims to touch upon their love for the Vietnamese homeland. This is an important spiritual strength encouraging our people to overcome many difficulties and challenges in the past and now in the fight against COVID-19.
Has the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism developed many measures to help tourism companies launch more attractive domestic tours?
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has organised many events calling on Vietnamese people to join tours in different formats.
We have also launched tourism promotion activities in big cities like Hà Nội and HCM City. We hope through these activities, localities will have more chances to discuss their tourism development plans and other activities. We are confident through such activities, in the upcoming summer, more people will decide to spend their time and money to visit places they or their families have not been yet.
How should tourism companies use the occasion to persuade potential customers to join tours?
Tourism companies should invest more in their physical and technical infrastructure as well as their human resources. Last but not least, they should develop detailed plans on the ties between service providers while developing package tours to make them attractive. Of course, in the beginning, the profit margin might not be very lucrative, yet, in the second half of 2020, things will change and it will be time for tourism activities to flourish.
Besides, tourism companies should make the best use of advanced technology to generate their own tourism products to meet the diverse demands of their clients.
What will Việt Nam do to attract more tourists in the future?
People joining domestic tours are often members of the same families. It is thought that more and more people prefer to go to mountainous resorts for their holidays. In the context of the present pandemic, eco-tourism has become a trend. That’s why tourism enterprises should diversify their products and focus more on eco-tourism which is safer, yet takes a shorter time and is of high quality.
What’s the key objective of the programme 'Vietnamese people travel in Việt Nam'?
It is time for Việt Nam to have everything ready to welcome back foreign visitors to the country when the pandemic is well under control. Tourism companies should work closely with local enterprises on what products they should focus on to meet the demand of their clients.
For the programme, the tourism sector should launch a slogan “Việt Nam is a safe destination” as this fact has been acknowledged by our foreign friends near and far. This is an advantage the country should utilise for its best interests.
What lessons has Việt Nam learned in the COVID-19 pandemic?
Việt Nam has learned many valuable lessons in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the application of IT in its management and business operation. The Vietnamese tourism sector has also applied digital tourism in its management and business operation ranging from transportation to hotel and restaurants arrangement.
The programme 'Vietnamese people travel in Việt Nam' has become a “starter” helping the tourism sector gradually restore and overcome challenges. — VNS