With the government allowing in foreign tourists and resuming international air services, major tourism firms are optimistic about the outlook for this year.
Dang Minh Truong, chairman of Sun Group, which has a number of luxury hotels and resorts across Vietnam, said the tourism industry would continue to face challenges this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic but everything would gradually be better as the country has changed its strategy from zero-Covid cases to living safely with the pandemic.
His company has upgraded all its hotels, resorts and amusement parks across the country, developed new tourism products and strengthened pandemic prevention measures, he said.
This year it plans to invest in more amusement parks and luxury accommodation since domestic and international tourism is gradually recovering, he said.
Nguyen Nguyet Van Khanh, deputy marketing head of major travel firm Vietravel, said his this year company would prioritize resumption of domestic tourism and receiving tourists from Northeast Asia and Russia.
It also plans to start outbound tours this month to Thailand, Dubai, Europe, and the U.S. where Vietnamese are exempt from quarantine requirements, he said.
Pham Ha, chairman of Lux Group, which specializes in luxury cruises, said the segment has huge potential and his company plans to launch a series of new tours this year targeting domestic tourists.
Since last month three of his company’s cruise ships in Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay off Hai Phong City and Nha Trang have been fully booked on weekends and for the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays in February.
Nguyen Chau A, CEO of Oxalis Adventure, a company that takes people on cave tours in the central province of Quang Binh, said he has high hopes for tourism revival this year.
He said his company would focus on the domestic tourism market since the pandemic still limits foreign travel.
In the last two years it has taken over 10,000 Vietnamese tourists to Son Dong, the world’s largest cave, and the tour is already almost fully booked for this year, he said.
It has started preparing for an international promotion campaign in 2023, and at the end of January will organize a tour for a team from BBC coming to film in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Ha said Lux Group’s 2022 target is to achieve 50 percent of 2019 revenues.
“The tourism industry has slowly stepped out of the tunnel and is able to see light”.
Khanh is also optimistic.
“After more than a month of adapting to the new normal, the tourism industry has shown signs of recovery,” she said.
Vietnam reopened its doors to foreign tourists in November after nearly two years.
In the month since then over 3,500 foreign visitors have come on package tours, Nguyen Trung Khanh, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said.
The country expects to get five million foreign visitors under the vaccine passport program in 2022.
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