Vietnam tourism 2021 finds opportunities in challenges

04, March, 2021

Vietnam tourism 2021 finds opportunities in challenges

In 2020, due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, Vietnam's tourism was suffered terribly. But facing the difficulties and challenges, Vietnam's tourism has made efforts to proactively adapt, promote internal strengths and restore operations in the new situation.

Heavy damage
Following the high growth rate of 22.7% in the period 2015 - 2019, the Tourism industry entered 2020 to welcome a record number of international visitors in January, reaching 2 million arrivals, up 32.8% over the same period in 2019. Vietnam tourism expected a successful year, exceeding the target of welcoming 20 million international visitors by 2020 according to Resolution 08-NQ / TW of the Politburo.

However, from February 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the world immediately affected the tourism industry. Vietnam Tourism industry had to face with unprecedented difficulties. Since March 2020, Vietnam stopped welcoming international visitors, only domestic tourism activities remained. But the domestic tourism market was also affected by social distancing.

General Director of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Trung Khanh said that the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the world tourism industry in general and Vietnam in particular suffered heavy losses. In 2020, many plans failed to achieve, the set targets decreased sharply: The number of international visitors in 2020  estimated at only 3.8 million, a decrease of nearly 80% compared to 2019; domestic tourists also decreased by nearly 50%; The total loss of tourism in the country amounted to 530 trillion VND (equivalent to 23 billion USD) ...

By 2020, the whole country had 3,339 travel businesses, including 2,519 international travel agencies, 820 domestic tour operators, but 90-95% of travel businesses suspended operations. Also in 2020, there were 201 travel companies applying for a new license, but up to 338 companies have applied to revoke the license. International travel agencies have turned to domestic travel businesses. 26,721 guides, with 16,965 also transfer to domestic instructors or change jobs. More than 30,000 accommodation establishments with 650,000 rooms nationwide, but the room capacity was only 20-25% in the provinces and cities; Some key tourist areas, many hotels had to close or changed their use purposes because they cannot endure.

According to reports from localities, although the COVID-19 epidemic has been actively responded, the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic was still very heavy. Ho Chi Minh City welcomed 1.3 million international visitors (down 85% compared to 2019), Khanh Hoa welcomed 1.2 million visitors (down 82.3%), of which international visitors only reached 435,000 (down 87.8%), Da Nang welcomed only 881,000 international visitors (down 69.2%), Quang Ninh welcomed 536,000 international visitors (down 90.6%) ...

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, a number of destination promotion and promotion events in the 2020 was not carried out such as: National Tourism Year 2020 - Ninh Binh changes to 2021, F1 racing events; WTM Fair (UK), MITT (Russia), ITB (Germany), ITE (HCMC)….

The domestic market will be an important key for tourism to recover
The World Tourism Organization forecasts that international tourism will take 3-4 years to recover. Meanwhile, at this time, the COVID-19 epidemic has eroded the capacity of businesses, most tourism businesses are facing financial difficulties to restore operations. The income of workers is reduced, the psychology of spending money greatly affects the tourism consumption of the majority of the people, the market demand has decreased; Although there are many supporting policies, they have not yet reached businesses and workers in the tourism industry.

This forces the tourism industry to turn to focus on domestic tourism. Tourism must perform "dual tasks" at the same time: ensuring safety for people's lives and health while maintaining "production and business". According to experts, in 2021, domestic tourism will be an important key for the industry to recover from the COVID-19 "storm", in which safety factors are still used by travel businesses and tourists.

To meet the current practical needs, localities and businesses need to pay more attention to new tourism trends to make appropriate changes. Customers' needs completely changed after the COVID-19 epidemic, customers will travel short-term, many times, small groups, pay more attention to health, combo products (aircraft and hotel rooms). Businesses will also have to change according to customer trends. Destinations used to be "hot" crowded with customers, with hotels and resorts with thousands of rooms will no longer be attractive to investors. They started looking for new destinations, starting to divide into separate areas, diversifying specialized services. They do not invest in large scale but small, dispersed but connected with each other.

Tourism products aimed at human health, sports tourism, healing, ecology, yoga, and nature-based tourism will be crowned and become more and more important after the COVID epidemic. -19. In addition, tourism products will also go in depth because visitors target quality tourism. Businesses will focus on activities that value the local cultural background.

Commenting on Vietnam's tourism recovery scenario in 2021, General Director of Tourism Nguyen Trung Khanh said that the tourism industry is oriented to continue exploiting the domestic market, focusing on promoting the link between localities and enterprises according to the motto "Link, act and develop". In addition, in 2021, the tourism industry sets out 5 main tasks, of which continue to focus on strengthening communication and deploying the application of safety tourism criteria; continue to propose and coordinate the effective implementation of the Government's support policies for tourism businesses; promote digital transformation and application of information technology in the tourism sector; strengthen the promotion of the domestic tourism market, maintain the advertisement to the foreign tourist market; enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of state management in tourism .