Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese people are still willing to spend $5,000-7,000 on booking rooms at some of the most expensive hotels and resorts, including Six Senses and Amanoi, showing the potential of domestic tourism.
|Hospitality targets domestic tourists in new normal |
This was revealed by Do Thu Giang, a representative of Vietnam Tourism Association cum director of sales and marketing at Mai Chau HideAway Resort at the conference themed “Value of domestic tourism in new normal” co-organised Chefjob.vn and A-Au vocational guidance company in Hanoi on January 19.
Tourism is the sector suffering the heaviest losses from the pandemic. The foreign tourist volume was estimated to have plunged by 80 per cent, while domestic tourism decreased by 45 per cent. In general, the damage was estimated at $23 billion. Numerous travel companies had to stop operation, leading to increased unemployment rates.
However, when the pandemic was under control, the industry could recoup some of the losses through demand stimulus measures.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched two domestic tourism promotion programmes themed “Vietnamese people travel Vietnam" in May and “Safe and attractive Vietnamese tourism” in September. The programmes received a warm welcome from localities, enterprises, and travellers alike.
Cooperation and tourism linkages have been promoted by the localities, becoming an important measure in increasing the number of domestic tourists. Additionally, the quality improvements of tourism products and assurance of safety for tourists were also key solutions.
“The payment capacity of Vietnamese people is very high, so it is not necessary to only offer promotions and discount programmes because these only serve to fasten decisions. People are willing to book luxury hotels and resorts in spite of the high price because they want to enjoy value for their money," Giang said.
“There is a difference in serving foreign and local tourists. For example, we can reply to emails from foreigners in 24 hours, however, we have to immediately call domestic tourists back or reply to their emails. Sales staff has to be available to reply to messages even at midnight, otherwise customers will look for other choices,” Giang said.
“Regarding meals, we switched from la carte menu to buffet for lunch and dinner, which has drawn enthusiastic responses from domestic tourists,” Giang said.
She added that the pandemic taught members in hospitality a lesson about the potential of domestic tourism. After the international flights reopen, the company will still work to attract domestic travellers and diversify tourism products for customer segments.