Reviving Vietnam’s Central Coast tourism

July 08, 2020 | 08:00
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Being blessed with stunning beaches and some of the world’s heritage sites, the cities and provinces of Central Vietnam are preparing to cash in again on these advantages by running enticing promotion programmes for domestic tourists through strong co-operation among each other, thereby promoting the region as a safe and hospitable one to visit.
reviving vietnams central coast tourism

This year, Danang targeted to welcome nearly 10 million tourists, with international visitors reaching around four million and domestic ones about six million. However, the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter have cost Danang’s tourism industry billions of VND, with the accumulated damage as of the second quarter estimated to a total of VND5.5 trillion ($24 million).

In the immediate future, Danang is set to focus on stimulating domestic tourism with generous discounts and incentive programmes being introduced. Accordingly, Danang has planned a marketing and branding scheme, proactively inviting partners to revive its tourism industry.

As the pandemic remains unpredictable in parts of the world, closure of borders is likely to be prolonged, and the resumption of international flights seems to be indefinite, the focal solution for Danang’s tourism industry in the last six months of this year will be the domestic market.

Danang, as well as its neighbouring localities, such as Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, and Ninh Thuan, will focus on visitors from nearby cities and provinces and the Central Highlands. In addition, these localities are also co-operating with airlines to lure tourists from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Haiphong, and Quang Ninh.

Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh, director of Danang Department of Tourism, said that the city is expected to stimulate the travelling demand of both tour travellers and individual ones.

“In this period, almost all localities are focusing on exploiting the local tourist market, therefore, Danang must come up with a distinctive way to promote itself. The city will soon announce a comprehensive stimulus package with attractive discount programmes to invite visitors until the end of the year,” Hanh stated.

To regain the tourism crown in the area, about a hundred of Danang’s businesses are currently offering large discounts of 20-70 per cent.

Le Huy Khang, director of business development and group hospitality director at Hoi An Royal Group, shows more confidence in the Central Vietnamese tourism market, saying that places like Hoi An, Hue, Nha Trang, and Danang, are all well-known not only nationwide but internationally.

Therefore, in addition to temporary solutions, Khang’s group is bolstering the group’s hotel system in the Central region and believes in the appeal of the destination.

Elsewhere, many provinces have been responding enthusiastically to the “Vietnamese travel Vietnam” programme. For example, Ninh Thuan province has launched a smart tourism application referring to the area as the land of “yellow flowers on green grass” while Phu Yen and Ly Son in Quang Ngai province have also stepped up their efforts to fuel tourism development after the pandemic. Like Danang, many businesses in these provinces are also currently offering discounts of around 50 per cent to lure in more domestic tourists.

reviving vietnams central coast tourism
Reviving Vietnam’s Central Coast tourism

Heritage stopovers

Speaking at the Hue Tourism Forum 2020 entitled “Travel connection: Hue - a safe and friendly destination”, which was held in Hue on May 3, deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong highly appreciated the co-operation between Thua Thien-Hue, Danang, and Quang Nam, with their clear commitments and determination to restore Central Vietnam’s tourism.

According to the minister, the co-operation is an important prerequisite for the tourism industry of the central provinces to develop in the future.

Lying on the heritage road of the central region and stretching over thousands of kilometres, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, and Danang all possess promising potentials for the development of tourism, including the stunning beaches and world cultural heritages, such as the Hue Monument Complex, Ngu Hanh Son, Hoi An ancient town, and My Son Sanctuary.

Vice Chairman of Ninh Thuan People’s Committee Le Van Binh said that tourism has been identified as one of the province’s six key economic sectors. As a result, reviving and bolstering tourism and related business activities plays a very important role for achieving the dual goal of repelling the pandemic’s impact and fostering socio-economic development.

The minister added that public demand is sending positive response to the restart of the tourism industry, as people are itching for a getaway after a long time being locked inside due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a report at the conference “Golden time to travel around Vietnam” held late May in Thanh Hoa province, a representative from Google Asia-Pacific shared that the company has recorded a recovery in tourism demand in Vietnam since mid-April. In the past eight weeks, searches related to sea and island tourism have also doubled.

Furthermore, news from of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control showed that by the end of June, Vietnam has passed more than 75 days without any COVID-19 cases transmitted in the community.

Though these are good signs, the number of people quarantining in the country is still high, keeping the country from reopening to international arrivals despite efforts and drastic actions of cities and provinces in the region.

By Viet Huong

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