Tour operators in the city should continue preparing new products while the city is fighting the pandemic.
Hanoi’s tourism authorities have requested local businesses to adjust their stimulus programs amid the resurgence of the novel coronavirus in the city and other localities to prevent the pandemic from spreading.
|The Temple of Literature historical relic is one of the must-visit destinations for tourists. Photo: Hanoimoi|
Travelers’ safety is top priority
With the new evolution of Covid-19, the Tourism Department has asked city’s tour operators to draw up the list of Hanoi’s residents who visited or traveled through pandemic-hit areas.
Currently, the department is working with the tourism associations of Vietnam and Hanoi as well as relevant agencies on updating the Covid-19 situation and suspending some stimulus activities in August until appropriate time.
In addition, the department also required tour operators to continue preparing new products for when the pandemic is under control, Hanoi will be one of first the localities that will launch tourist promos.
The city’s tourism industry agreed that ensuring the safety for local visitors is now the first priority. All units have reactivated anti-pandemic measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands with soap or sanitizer and checking body temperature at tourist destinations.
At some tourist attractions in Hanoi, the number of visitors has increased over the past two months after the social distancing period ended.
Border closure and stay-at-home orders have hit the city’s tourism industry hard. The city welcomed an estimated 6.13 million visitors in the first seven months of this year, down 63.3% from a year earlier.
|Ensuring the safety for local visitors is now the first priority. Photo: Hanoimoi|
Tour operators face hardship
In July, 28 travel businesses in the city sent 6,681 visitors to the beach city Danang while 22 tour operators in Hanoi received 7,503 trip cancellations due to the new infections related to Danang from July 28 to 30, according to the Hanoi Department of Tourism.
Travel companies are asking customers to share their difficulties by postponing travel dates or converting the value of tour packages into travel vouchers instead of customers canceling tours and requesting refund, according to Nguyen Cong Hoan, CEO of Flamingo Redtours Company.
Chairman of the Hanoi Tourism Association Phung Quang Thang suggested that local airlines should have specific policies of refunding or delaying for groups of passengers. Accommodation establishments and destinations should allow travelers to change check-in dates.
At a meeting on July 31 to discuss solutions for issues arising in the new context, representatives from Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Vietjet Air said that they had studied supporting policies for the tourism industry but still needed the cooperation from other units.
Particularly, Vietnam Airlines has a policy to extend the validity of purchased tickets until June 2021. Currently, it is difficult for people canceling air tickets to get refund while those changing flights will be charged a fee.