Vietnam a hospitable and safe destination

April 10, 2020 | 19:00
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Amid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Ngo Hoai Chung, vice chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), shares with Hoang Oanh the solutions to ensure safety for tourists, retaining the image of Vietnam as a friendly, hospitable, and safe destination.
vietnam a hospitable and safe destination
Ngo Hoai Chung, vice chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT)

What are VNAT’s plans to support tourists stuck in Vietnam and tourism businesses during the lockdown?

Following the prime minister’s direction in protecting the safety of tourists along with maintaining the image of Vietnam as a hospitable and safe destination, the VNAT has proposed to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to issue Document No.1169/BVHTTDL-TCDL, requesting the localities to take care of all foreign visitors in the area, and direct businesses and individuals, especially those in the tourism industry, to closely follow the Law on Tourism on committing no discrimination against foreign tourists.

Any signs of boycott and discrimination against foreign nationals could be severely punished. A list of tourism service establishments which will ensure disease preventing conditions will also be publicised for tourists to approach.

The tourism industry has also proactively implemented thorough solutions on the prevention of the coronavirus spread, especially in tourist destinations and accommodation establishments, strictly following guidance of the health authorities. The VNAT also regularly updates policies on disease prevention to ensure safety for tourists, as well as the image of Vietnam, and directs solutions supporting enterprises to overcome the current hardships to recover operations when the pandemic is over.

vietnam a hospitable and safe destination
Vietnam a hospitable and safe destination

Specifically, how should the tourism industry in the country improve in order to remain a hot destination?

Vietnam in recent years has been evaluated by the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as a safe and friendly tourist destination, and this has also been strengthened by many other prestigious travel awards given to the country.

Facing numerous challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam needs to try even harder to reaffirm its reputation that has been built over past few years.

Upon receiving claims that a number of accommodations and tourism service providers in Vietnam refused to serve international tourists who are Chinese, South Korean, or Western, the VNAT immediately reported to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism on rectifying local people’s behaviour towards tourists, detecting and strictly handling cases of discrimination against tourists, and improving facilities and service quality in the quarantine areas, especially for foreign visitors.

The VNAT will continue to request localities to supervise the compliance of Law on Tourism and relevant laws on tourism service business activities, and the implementation of the code of conduct for tourism issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In the coming time when Vietnam announces the end of the outbreak in this country, the VNAT shall co-ordinate with functional authorities in boosting campaigns to promote the country as a safe and friendly destination, alongside tourism stimulus campaigns to restore the market, attracting more international tourists to come to and return to Vietnam for travel.

vietnam a hospitable and safe destination

With nearly 200 hotels and resorts in the country registering as quarantine facilities, what are VNAT’s policies to support them?

In line with the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control, the VNAT has directed and disseminated to accommodation establishments nationwide a register for serving as quarantine sites with charge, if current areas are overloaded.

As of March 20, 147 accommodation establishments from all categories in 24 cities and provinces have registered to accompany the government.

To date accommodation providers have responded very well to the policy, sharing burdens with the country, despite the initial apprehension and fear of coming in contact with infected people which is may affect their brands. Moreover, they will have opportunities to make full use of their facilities instead of shutting down services during this time. Thereby, they can also retain employment and income for staff, even during this crisis.

The VNAT highly appreciates and welcomes businesses’ sense of responsibility and community. We will surely offer them a valid form of praise and at the same time support those businesses in advertising and branding along with destination promotion programmes after the pandemic is controlled.

By Hoang Oanh

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