Promptly removing difficulties for tourism businesses


After the damage caused by the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020, the "kick" of this epidemic has caused tourism businesses across the country in general and Vinh Phuc in particular to fall into crisis. Many travel agencies and accommodation establishments face great challenges when they have to operate in moderation, even temporarily suspend their operations; Many skilled tourism workers have moved to other professions. Facing this situation, Vinh Phuc province has been having appropriate support solutions to restore and develop the tourism industry in the coming time.

Stacking of difficulties

Due to the re-emergence of the Covid-19 epidemic, tourism activities in the province continued to be affected. Tourism activities had to be suspended during the period of isolation and social distancing. The number of visitors decreased; tourism businesses and restaurants, hotels have to face with various difficulties. About 95% of businesses fell into the situation of customers canceling tours, canceling rooms, canceling services in a large amount, causing the industry's revenue to decrease by more than 80% compared to the same period in 2019. Some businesses are currently operating in moderation, having to downsize staff and give employees rotational leave to minimize costs.

During this outbreak, about 95% of businesses fell into the situation where customers canceled tours,
canceled rooms, canceled services in large numbers, causing revenue of the whole industry
to decrease by more than 80%

For example, the Tay Thien Cable Car unit of Lac Hong - Tay Thien Joint Stock Company, by mid-June 2021, has its revenue decreased by 80% compared to 2019. Ms. Dang Thi Thu Trang, Director of the unit said: From the beginning of 2021, when the situation of the Covid-19 epidemic is under control, the unit has decorated the landscape of the historical site and Tay Thien scenic spot, maintained and kept the system of cabins and electric vehicles ready to serving tourists in the journey "To Buddha, back to Mother". However, nearly 2 months ago, the Covid-19 epidemic re-emerged, causing the unit to continue to close and 80 employees was temporarily was laid off . This means that there is no revenue while the business still has to spend a lot of money to carry out epidemic prevention work, maintain facilities, pay social insurance and pay minimum wages for employees.  Currently, the business is having to borrow from banks to maintain the minimum number of employees to serve post-pandemic activities. 

Similarly, in May and June 2021, many tourism businesses in the province had to operate in moderation, had to cut staff, and let staff to work in rotation shifts to minimize costs, especially in Hotels and restaurants. Specifically: Flamingo Dai Lai resort decreases 60% of staff; FLC Vinh Thinh resort decreases 65% of staff; Some units in Tam Dao town, hotels in Dai Lai area had to close and temporarily stop operating. In addition to travel, accommodation and transportation businesses, catering and shopping establishments, tourist areas and attractions all recorded a decrease of about 70% in capacity compared to before the epidemic occurred.

Only in May 2021, revenue from accommodation, catering and travel services in the province decreased by more than 42% compared to the previous month and decreased by nearly 25% compared to the same period in 2020, only reaching more than VND 183 billion. In which, revenue from accommodation services reached more than VND 10 billion, food services reached more than VND 172 billion and travel services reached VND 1.2 billion.

Through the research of reporters, in the recent time, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has actively coordinated with relevant agencies to urgently implement policies to support tourism businesses affected by the Covid-19 epidemic such as: 15% reduction of land rent payable in 2020 for all tourism businesses; exempt and reduce loan interest for 18 tourism businesses and 60 individuals and households doing individual business in tourism activities; applying the subsidized electricity price according to the unit price of production electricity and reduce 20% of the price of domestic water for over 400 tourist accommodation establishments. At the same time, the Department issued a Decision on new recognition and re-classification for 33 accommodation establishments according to TCVN 4391:2015; organizing support for professional training, providing free materials for 700 employees in tourism businesses; supporting travel business units, tourist resorts to promote and exploit tourists in the market of Ho Chi Minh City and the southern provinces. However, due to the influence of the Covid 19 epidemic, some policies to stimulate tourism demand according to the plan of the Department to support tourism business units in the province such as Opening program of the tourist season in 2021; Famtrip program for travel agencies to take guests to visit tourist attractions, monuments and scenic spots; Tourism promotion programs in Ho Chi Minh City and Kien Giang... are all postponed.

Notably, many businesses still cannot access the central support policy groups such as Late payment of VAT, personal income tax, payment of unemployment insurance for employees… Especially, many highly qualified and skilled human personnels in the field of tourism have now moved to work in other industries, causing businesses to get more difficulties. Therefore, in parallel with the good implementation of regulations on Covid-19 prevention, businesses and travel units of the province want to soon enjoy policies to support tourism businesses affected by the Covid-19 epidemic of the central government and the province.

Various solutions to support tourism recovery

A representative of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that, pro-actively accompanying businesses to remove difficulties, the Department has focused on analyzing and giving tourism situations according to space, time, and models with different levels of monitoring and flexibility in solving problems arising in a timely and effective manner in tourism activities. At the same time, the Department focused on propaganda so that businesses can clearly see that this is also an opportunity to research product restructuring and the tourist market.

Accordingly, the Department has advised the Provincial People's Committee to issue a tourism development plan in the near future with the following focus groups: Focus on implementing the communication campaign "Vinh Phuc Tourism - The most peaceful place" and the domestic stimulus program with the participation of localities (destination), transportation enterprises and tourism service enterprises with the orientation to restructure the international tourist market to Vinh Phuc; strengthen the promotion to for visitors to come to localities where the epidemic has been stabilized. Along with that, continue to promote the progress of investment projects to develop resorts, tourist attractions, high-class tourist accommodation establishments; build stops, art spaces, transit points for tourists, introduce tourism products in the province; improve the quality of destinations and services; develop products and services associated with weekend resort tourism, cultural tourism, and community tourism associated with new rural areas. Prepare for Vinh Phuc tourism promotion strategy to key domestic markets, especially applying online communication forms; deploy solutions on building smart tourism in order to optimize the effectiveness of promotion, advertising and market expansion, creating many attractive tourism products to attract tourists; continue to exploit information technology applications in online advertising to carry out the propaganda and prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic. Organize training programs, training to foster tourism human resources in the province with the participants of officials and employees of tourist destinations, attractions, tourism service business units. Simultaneously, effectively deploy the linkage of regional products with localities throughout the country, in which, promoting the key role of travel businesses and tourism service businesses, tourism associations in order to build really attractive, unique and different products and programs of affiliate tourism of each locality and of the whole region. 

On June 16, 2021, the Provincial People's Committee also issued a decision on a number of measures to prevent the Covid-19 epidemic in the new situation, in which, tourism service activities are allowed to welcome guests but only serve tourists in the province and must strictly implement disease prevention measures. This is considered one of the solutions to contribute to solving difficulties for service and tourism businesses in the province that have been severely affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Recorded at a number of routes and tourist attractions in recent days, it is shown that, in the context of the complicated development of the Covid-19 epidemic, the first priority of Vinh Phuc tourism is the safety of visitors and the community. Therefore, despite allowing the reopening of tourist attractions and areas, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has requested travel, accommodation and catering businesses and units to continue to activating solutions to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic in many layers, from disinfecting spray, measuring body temperature, making medical declarations to strictly wearing masks, keeping distance from customers in accordance with regulations of Ministry of Health and of the province.

Hopefully, with efforts to stimulate tourism demand and measures to prevent and control the epidemic, the province's tourist areas, attractions, accommodation and dining establishments will return to operation safely, efficiently and quickly recover revenue, especially in the peak months of the tourist season in 2021.

Bich Phuong

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