Tourism and the problem of "living with the pandemic": "Passport card" in the context of the new normal

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The complicated, unpredictable development of the Covid-19 epidemic and no sign of complete disappearance has forced countries around the world to find a solution to the problem of "living with the pandemic". Tourism - one of the industries that is heavily affected, directly and for the longest time, must also find a way to "wake up" after a long period of "hibernation." And the safe tourism trend is considered a "smart card" action" for tourism to resume in the context of the new normal.

Safety - the "key" to work again

Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of social life, in which tourism is one of the industries affected first and longest. Vietnam's tourism is on a brilliant development with impressive growth numbers, the highest in the history of the industry in 2019, but from 2020 to now, it has continuously declined. In 2020, due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, Vietnam only received 3.7 million international visitors (down 80% compared to 2019); 56 million domestic visitors (down 34.1%) and total tourism revenue only reached 312,000 billion VND (down 58.7%).

In the first 8 months of 2021, domestic tourists continued to decrease by 5.5% over the same period in 2020, reaching 31.2 million visitors; total revenue from tourists decreased by 36.5% over the same period in 2020. Tourism activities were almost completely paralyzed. Many travel businesses, transportation, services, tourist accommodation establishments went bankrupt. More than 2 million direct workers and millions of indirect workers in the tourism industry lost their jobs or had to change jobs to make a living.

 

With such developments, it is impossible to expect "zero Covid" (no Covid). Moreover, the implementation of social distancing in localities is only a temporary solution and cannot be prolonged. Therefore, the implementation of the "dual goal" of both epidemic prevention and economic development is the optimal solution in the current situation. According to Mr. Phung Quang Thang, Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Travel Association, Chairman of the Hanoi Travel Association: Many businesses in the "hibernation" period still make efforts to understand trends, research the market, and bring information to the market. produce the right product to restart as soon as the new normal is activated.

VGreen Sustainable Tourism Club and Hanoitourist Travel Company are the pioneers in launching the new Normal Travel program, which combines 3 elements: Tourists, destinations and safe services. Accordingly, safe travelers are people who come from a safe area, have been vaccinated or have negative results for Covid-19. A safe destination is an area that is not in the epidemic area; are tourist and service destinations that are allowed to welcome guests and well comply with regulations on epidemic prevention. Safety service is a chain of safety services provided from the time of travel consultation, medical declaration, transportation, travel process to the end of the trip, and visitors are monitored for their health status after the trip. go 14 days.

Pham Duy Nghia, Director of Viet Foot Travel Company (Vietfoot Travel), said that in order for tourism to resume operations, the most important thing is to ensure the safety of tourists, service personnel and destinations. , accommodation establishments, transportation services... according to regulations of the Ministry of Health. To do so, in addition to widespread vaccine coverage combined with regular testing, travel businesses also need to build "green" tourism products that ensure safety criteria. Along with that is the companionship of localities to remove barriers to movement, giving priority to eligible businesses to deploy closed tours to serve tourists conveniently and safely. 

However, it is a fact that in the current conditions, when the economic conditions are more difficult than before, plus the fear of the epidemic, many people may not be ready to travel. Nguyen Thi Huyen, CEO of Vietrantour Hanoi, said that it is necessary to locate the psychology so that tourists can rest assured to travel again through the communication of safe destinations, safe tours...

Accelerate Recovery

In order for tourism to flourish again in the new normal, it is indispensable for the Government to cooperate with state and local management agencies. According to many businesses, in the immediate future, it is necessary to restore domestic tourism activities in safe destinations and localities. On September 28, 2021, the Vietnam Tourism Association implemented the "National program to restore domestic tourism, overcome the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic" to contribute to accelerating the recovery of the tourism industry. calendar.

Standing Vice President of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said: “This program aims to meet the need to restore tourism in Vietnam, firstly to restore domestic tourism, on a suitable basis for a in a flexible, adaptive and effective way to the actual developments of the epidemic, gradually transforming tourism according to a new concept: safe tourism, towards restoring tourism in the context of living with Covid-19". Accordingly, the program sets out specific safety regulations and criteria for tourists, tour operators, accommodation establishments and tourism service businesses...

Along with that, the program also mentioned the role of local tourism associations in agreeing with local tourism management agencies on safe tourism criteria, concretizing criteria for tourism promotion. easy business implementation; Announce attractions, tourist service establishments eligible to safely welcome tourists; Building a hotline, organizing a Tourism Recovery Department and developing a process to handle some necessary situations when an employee involved in serving guests or tourists is found to be positive for SARS- CoV-2.

Preparing for the recovery period of tourism activities in the new context, in early September 2021, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also issued a Plan to implement policies to stimulate demand and restore activities. tourism, travel; which focuses on 6 key tasks and solutions, including: Ensuring safety at the destination and safety for tourists; strengthen communication activities and tourism promotion and advertising; develop diversified products to meet new market trends; accelerate the digital transformation process in the tourism industry; supporting businesses to accelerate the recovery of tourism activities; support the development of human resources to meet the requirements of tourism recovery.

 

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism is also strengthening communication and tourism promotion activities to bring information to tourists, thereby encouraging tourists to return to travel as soon as conditions allow. In particular, the communication and promotion of tourism on social networks and some online platforms is focused, through the building of a digital information system about tourist resorts, tourist attractions, tourist service establishments, and tourism services. calendar...; build a safe Vietnam tourism digital map, integrated into the application "Safe Vietnam tourism"; supporting localities and tourism businesses to promote services, connect and update information to serve tourists.

Another good news for tourism workers is that a few days ago, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Health and related ministries and branches in, urgently working with tourism agencies. functional agencies of countries in the region and around the world to recognize each other between Vietnam and other countries on "vaccine passports". This is a positive move and a "leverage" to open up the economy, bringing tourism activities to soon overcome the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

According to Hanoimoi

 

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