COVID-19 puts paid to HCM City tourism firms’ summer hopes

Update: May, 14/2021 - 17:55


Tourists on a group tour to Phú Quốc Island off Kiên Giang Province during the Reunification Day and the International Labour Day holidays. Photo courtesy of TSTtourist

HCM CITY — HCM City travel companies are reporting cancellation and rescheduling of bookings for summer amid the recent resurgence of COVID-19 across the country.

Since the fourth wave began in late April tour operators have become flexible to avoid mass cancellations as happened during previous outbreaks.

Nguyễn Minh Mẫn, head of TSTtourist’s communication and marketing department, said only one booking for a group tour to Nghệ An Province this month has been cancelled while all the others have been rescheduled.

Most choose to reschedule their trips until it is safe to travel again, he said.

The safety of tourists and staff is a top priority, and his company would resume tours to safe destinations when the pandemic is brought under control, he said.

Company and incentive trips to the north-east, north-west and south-central regions and Phú Quốc Island are expected to boom when travel is allowed to resume, he added.

Đoàn Thị Thanh Trà, head of communication and marketing at Saigontourist Travel Service Company, said her company works closely with customers and business partners to implement COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

Tours to places that have community transmissions have been suspended until the time they manage to curb them, she said.

Customers are informed of the company’s change and cancellation policies right when they book tours, making it easier for both sides to deal with cancellations and rescheduling, she said.  

Some large group tours have been rescheduled and there have not been many cancellations, she added.

Nguyễn Nguyệt Vân Khanh, deputy marketing director of Vietravel, said her company had been hoping for a busy summer season after there was a surge in bookings.

But it has suspended tours to localities with infections and is now focusing on individual tourists and small groups with products and services like caravan tours, leisure and wellness tours and combinations of airline and car services and hotel bookings, she added.

The Việt Nam International Travel Mart in Hà Nội and the Travel Fair in HCM City, both scheduled to take place this month, have been postponed. —VNS