HCMC – Only 31 out of 470 foreign visitors currently staying in HCMC wish to return to their home countries, while most of the remainder want to remain in the city even though the social distancing order is still in place to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
Those who wish to go back home are mainly citizens of Canada, Australia, Japan and the United States, reported Thanh Nien newspaper.
The HCMC Tourism Department has sent a list of these foreigners to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the municipal departments of Foreign Affairs and Transport as required.
Data recorded on April 13 by the tourism department showed that 2,795 visitors were staying in over 1,740 lodging facilities in the city. Of these, over 900 people remained at 149 tourism establishments, while 1,600 homestays and Airbnb facilities were accommodating 1,888 other guests.
Earlier, the southern city saw a sharp decline in tourist arrivals during the first two months of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak and the drastic measures adopted by Vietnam to respond to the pandemic. As a result, the city’s tourism industry has encountered heavy losses.
In the January-February period, the number of tourists and turnover recorded at travel firms in HCMC fell by as much as 50%-60% compared with the same period last year. The downward trend continued in March.
When the World Health Organization last month declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the tourism industry across Vietnam and especially in HCMC went into limbo.
To date, up to 90% of small and medium-sized travel companies in HCMC have suspended operations. Tourism employees had to take time off from work without pay and will only return to work when the pandemic ends.