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|Danang tourism seeks new way of development|
The World Tourism Organization currently foresees that global tourism will start its recovery this year with pre-crisis levels not expected to be hit before 2023. In the coming time, most tourists will travel for sightseeing, relaxation, and entertainment purposes, and there is also a growing trend for healthcare, eco, and community-based tourism.
Industry insiders predict the local tourism will soon recover in Danang as the beach city is appealing to tourists as an ideal destination for hospitality, entertainment, business travel, and meetings and conferences.
Nguyen Nhu Nam, managing director of the Danang Tourism Promotion Fund cited a survey about the impact of the pandemic on the local tourism industry, which shows that the core solutions for tourism businesses depend heavily on the containment of the global health crisis.
Travellers not only place top priority on health and safety, but are also looking for short trips to places not far from home. Therefore, Danang should focus on local tourists by promoting attractions in the city, which may also have spill over effects to develop the industry in the neighbouring provinces.
In December, Danang People’s Committee released its tourism development plan for the 2021-2025 period towards sustainable tourism development. The plan focuses on the development and market orientation, tourism products, environment, service quality, and human resources.
Accordingly, the city will give priority to develop and upgrade its tourism infrastructure such as its international airport and port to accommodate travellers. The city will also complete the legal framework to develop tourism, step up market research, and tourism promotion activities. It will invest in tourism products especially for the night-time economy. Also, Danang plans to develop its luxury tourism market as key product.
Furthermore, the local tourism industry continues to apply tech advances in tourism management, exploitation, and promotion with a view to promote smart tourism. The industry will improve the quality of its workforce and service quality, while supporting businesses to recover from the pandemic.
Amid the pandemic, safety has become one of the major focal points in Danang’s tourism development orientation.
Doan Hai Dang, chairman of the Danang Travel Association said that after the social distancing period, tourism businesses have started to research and innovate their products to attract new travellers. With safety being a top priority, tourism products should be in line with the prime minister’s 5K principle: Masks – Disinfection – Distance – No gathering – Medical declaration. Travel agencies are now urged to build such tourism products for Danang and the central region in 2021.
When Vietnam begins vaccinations across the country, it will contribute to a slight recovery of tourism this year, which mainly relies on local tourism. However, tourism businesses may need to prepare inbound and outbound products from now on, just in case that international travel will become more active again.
Truong Thi Hong Hanh, director of Danang Department of Tourism said that the city always places top priority on safety, striving to implement COVID-19 prevention measures synchronously in line with the directions of the prime minister and regulatory bodies.
“After the last two outbreaks of the pandemic, our department has implemented four inspection campaigns to monitor prevention measures at travel agencies, hotels, tourism attractions, and transport companies with more than 120 inspections. The department has fined a hotel VND10 million ($433) for violating regulations, and continues to inspect the implementation of anti-COVID-19 measures at tourism establishments in the city,” Hanh said.
Some popular tourist destinations like SunWorld Ba Na Hills, Ngu Hanh Son, museums, and accommodations in the city are equipped with hand sanitisers and facemasks for visitors at the entrance, ensuring safety for both visitors and staff. Accommodation establishments also assist guests to make medical declarations before check-in.
Nguyen Thanh Lau, director of Thien Long Anh Co., Ltd., said that the company has provided masks and hand sanitisers to tourists on all pick-up trips. When passengers get on the bus, the tour guides remind them to follow the rules to ensure safety.
Steve Wolstenholme, CEO of Hoiana Resort said that Vietnam has made great strides to become a safe haven. The Vietnamese government has so far successfully contained the pandemic. To further develop safe tourism, the General Department of Tourism has launched the Safe Vietnam Tourism app in October 2020.
Wolstenholme noted that users can look up and view digital maps to know the safety levels around their area. In particular, tourists can find out coronavirus information by the Ministry of Health’s website. Through the application, tourists can register to participate in safe tourism programmes according to each set of criteria promulgated by state agencies.
Hope for recovery
On a trip to Danang at the beginning of January, Pham Van Dong, a resident of Hanoi, said that Danang is one of top tourist destinations for his family. He and his family feel secure to travel to the beach city during the vacation.
“Hopefully, the COVID-19 pandemic will phase out and socioeconomic activities will resume to pre-COVID-19 levels,” he said.
In the first three days of the new year, Ngu Hanh Son welcomed 5,100 visitors. Nguyen Van Hien, head of the Management Board said that visitors enjoyed free admission in the first days of 2021. Most tourists to Ngu Hanh Son are groups of students from universities, individual travellers, and families.
“Despite free admission, we have allocated enough staff to support our guests, maintain security and order as well as environmental safety,” he said.
Other destinations such as SunWorld Ba Na Hills and Than Tai Hot Spring Park were also bustling in the beginning of 2021. During the first two days of January, Than Tai Hot Spring Park welcomed 2,000 visitors. Preliminary statistics by Danang Department of Tourism revealed that over 2,000 visitors have joined the free Enjoy Han River experience programme by night. Around 15 cruise ships have joined the parade on the Han River, creating a sparkling and magnificent scene. The programme has become a highlight garnering the attention of the local and tourists.
According to Hanh from Danang Department of Tourism, the city has offered a number of stimulus programmes, service packages, and products, as well as attractive festivals and events in the beginning of the year. The total number of tourist arrivals to the city reached 50,300 people, up 38 per cent compared with the forecast.
She added that the city also focuses on festivals and events to promote tourism products and destinations in the city. The efforts aim to stimulate tourism activities in the new normal.