HCMC – Despite the increasing local demand, Vietnam’s travel revenue in May fell by 90% compared with the same period last year, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien told a meeting on June 13.
Since the Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures were relaxed, the country’s tourism sector has gradually recovered but it has mainly relied on domestic demand as the country is still closed to foreign travelers.
Businesses and local authorities have launched a series of tourism stimulus programs but the demand for travel remains low. Many travel companies in HCMC are still closed or operating perfunctorily. While beach resorts and hotels have seen their weekend room occupancy rates improve significantly, the average rates remain low.
“To maintain the company’s operations, our staff, from the general director to the security guards, are receiving the same salary based on the base salary,” the general director of a travel company in District 1, HCMC, told The Saigon Times.
Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien noted that getting the tourism industry back on track requires four steps including boosting local tourism demand, welcoming a limited number of foreign tourists to certain resorts that have effective Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures, receiving tourists from countries that have effectively controlled the pandemic and eventually reopening the tourism market completely. Vietnam is still in the first stage.
International tourist arrivals to Vietnam from January to May 2020 dropped by 50%, while the number of domestic tourists also fell by 58% compared with the same period last year, leading to a 50% year-on-year decline in tourism revenue.