|Laying foundation for tourism rebound post-pandemic. Photo: Van Pham |
Dong Thap has reported more than 8,280 COVID-19 infections in total, with over 400 cases under treatment and around 7,580 patients recovered. Over 100 local communes have returned to a new state of normality, with around 180 businesses with more than 19,500 workers utilising a stay-at-work model approved by the district-level people’s committee.
Through 13 rounds of vaccinations, Dong Thap has completed well over 422,000 shots of COVID-19 vaccines as of last week, including over 320,000 first doses and nearly 100,000 second shots. The districts of Tam Nong and Thap Muoi have kept the pandemic at bay, with no infections reported for more than a fortnight.
Secretary of Dong Thap Party Committee Le Quoc Phong noted that although the pandemic is under containment, since the rate of vaccinated people has yet to reach 70-80 per cent, the province still faces a high risk of pandemic resurgence. It, therefore, needs high prudence when considering loosening social distancing measures.
Phong urged districts, cities, and relevant units to strengthen management measures on pandemic containment through setting specific regulations, particularly keeping an eye on people’s movement, striving to gradually resume economic and social activities, and pushing up propagation to raise people’s awareness and knowledge about the situation.
Head of Dong Thap’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control Committee Pham Thien Nghia has appreciated the active engagement of districts, cities, and sub-committees.
The province as a whole has conducted vast volumes of testing samples in the community. The number of F0 patients shed to below 500 cases, along with a steady rise in the number of areas with no COVID-19 infections, deemed green zones.
Nghia raised a warning that local areas should be highly vigilant and well-prepared with concrete plans in the case of contracting new F0 cases.
“It is also important to foster control at pandemic checkpoints, particularly areas adjoining other localities,” Nghia said. Each sub-committee must make an adequate assessment of the pandemic situation, from there penning out suitable action plans along with caring for social welfare work to support people in need. The locations also need to take the initiative in devising plans for production and business rebound.
To help travel agencies in the province become well-prepared for a tourism rebound, on September 24, Dong Thap Centre for Trade, Tourism, and Investment Promotion (TTIP) hosted a webinar which attracted more than 100 experts, travel firms, and local households with tourism offerings in the province.
At the webinar, experts and firms praised Dong Thap’s efforts in pandemic containment, helping the province to soon return to a new normal and laying the groundwork for a rebound socially and economically.
To resume tourism, it is essential to boost vaccination coverage as the tourism sector would consider reopening once a vaccine passport regime is in place. In addition, it is a must to ensure other criteria with green markets, green processes, and strict implementation of the principles of pandemic prevention and control from the Ministry of Health.
Experts assume that people’s demands for travel will soar post-pandemic. Their tour options, however, might be different compared to the past and visitors might prefer destinations which are safe and close to nature. Agricultural tours might become the preferred choice for many visitors.
Vo Tien Thanh, director of the TTIP centre, voiced the need for local travel agencies to change their strategy to better serve visitors.
Businesses need to join efforts with locations in green areas, build up complete tour packages alongside developing new products tailored to visitors’ demands, deploy digital marketing for their products, and strengthen manpower to become ready for operations soon, Thanh explained.