HCMC – The government’s fast and effective handling of Covid-19 may help Vietnam become a preferred travel destination in the Asia Pacific region over countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Australia, according to Dr Nuno F. Ribeiro, Tourism and Hospitality Management senior lecturer at RMIT University Vietnam.
The rapid spread of Covid-19 around the globe has caused significant damage to several industries, with tourism being one of the hardest hit.
Dr Ribeiro said countries that will have a fast recovering tourism industry post Covid-19 will be those whose governments prioritized health and well-being and successfully contained the spread of the virus.
“The Vietnamese Government has prioritized health and well-being during this pandemic, which is the most important thing in a people-intensive tourism industry,” he stated.
The Government has also supported tourism businesses with several initiatives, which will be critical to allow a quick return to operations once the pandemic is resolved. This will be much easier to do rather than rebuilding an entire economic sector if no help is provided.
“For some people, travel and tourism is seen as a necessity, not a luxury. And tourists will not only travel to the most beautiful and interesting countries in the world but primarily to the safest. And Vietnam is doing a fantastic job in proving that it is one of the safest destinations in the world,” Dr Ribeiro stressed.
Over the past few months, the number of tourist arrivals in Vietnam has dropped sharply. Dr Ribeiro noted that this rapid decline has, and will continue to have, an enormous impact on tourism businesses and will affect the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people.
According to Dr Ribeiro, the history of tourism since 1945 shows that while tourism is vulnerable to cyclical crises, it also rebounds faster and stronger than any other economic sector.
As an academic with more than 20 years of experience in the tourism industry, Dr Ribeiro believes there are more solutions available to help alleviate the negative impact of Covid-19 on Vietnam.
He suggested that the Government diversify Vietnam’s main inbound tourism markets as dependence on certain markets is not sustainable over the long term.
Besides this, the Government needs to work with the relevant ministries to coordinate a gradual and safe return to tourism operations.
Dr Ribeiro also proposed reducing taxes for tourism businesses and encouraging them not to dismiss employees but to retrain them so they are ready to re-enter the workforce soon after the pandemic is over.
Vietnam will begin soft marketing campaigns using social media and advertising campaigns aimed at potential tourists or returning tourists who cannot visit the country right now.