Vietnam offers cut-price paradise to lure local travelers in post-virus period
Update: May 25, 2020
Prestigious news publication Reuters of the UK recently released an article detailing the country’s all-out efforts to rejuvenate its tourism industry in the post-novel coronavirus (COVID-19) period.  

The renowned UK media outlet reported that Vietnam recorded an annual 98% fall in visitor numbers in April due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but enjoyed significant success in fighting the virus, recording only 324 cases with no deaths.

As one of the first Southeast Asian nations to start reviving its economy, there is still a ban in place on foreign visitors, whilst many major tourist markets remain under lockdown. As a result, hotels and resorts are moving to discount prices to make a domestic holiday even more attractive to local travelers, according to Reuters.

The UK news agency also highlighted the country’s tourism promotion campaign known as “Vietnamese People Travel in Vietnam”, which was recently unveiled with the aim of “introducing quality tourism products and service packages at reasonable prices”.

The move serves to put Vietnam ahead of tourism competitors regionally such as Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, where travel restrictions are only just beginning to be lifted.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for the further promotion of domestic tourism, yet he warned of the risks that come with reopening the nation to foreigners too quickly.

Vu The Binh, chairman of the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents, and vice chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, told Reuters that in an attempt to lure local travelers, hotels and airlines have been forced to cut their prices by as much as half.

“The recovery of domestic tourism should boost international tourism,” he said. “After this programme ends in mid-July, we will embark on another programme aimed at promoting international tourism, depending on the virus situation”, said Binh.

Reuters also quoted William Haandrikman, general manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, as saying that the Asian market is likely to be the very first to recover.

The media outlet pointed out that domestic tourism is now rising, with the majority of Vietnamese airlines reporting that their limited domestic flights are fast reaching capacity.