Mainly visitors were technical experts and skilled workers.
The number of international tourists to Vietnam in February alone, down 38.3 percent from the previous month and 99.1 percent from the same period last year.
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Despite the peak holiday season and long Lunar New Year break, the number of international tourists to Vietnam was nearly 11,000 in February alone, down 38.3 percent from the previous month and 99.1 percent from the same period last year due to the pandemic, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO).
Foreign tourists mainly were technical experts and skilled workers who are allowed to enter Vietnam to work, and truck drivers transporting goods through international border gates.
In the first two months, the country welcomed 28,700 foreign visitors, a year-on-year decrease of 99.1 percent.
According to the report, HCMC saw a decline of 14.1 percent, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and Da Nang City decreased 15.9 and 16.1 percent, Hanoi and Hai Duong slid 7.6 and 7.8 percent compared with last year.
Tourism revenue fell 62.1 percent over the same period last year to VND2,500 billion (US$108.6 million). The most severe drops were seen in Hanoi at 47.7 percent, Da Nang by 67.7 percent, HCMC by 69.2 percent, Thua Thien-Hue Province by 73.3 percent and Hai Duong Province by 89.4.
The tourism industry has proposed many preferential policies to support travel firms and laborers that have been severely affected by the Covid-19. However, there was not much support and many businesses could not receive these preferential treatments. A further decline is expected in the coming months, said the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
At the present, more than 500 enterprises that can not continue their operations have proposed for the withdrawal of the certificate of business registration. In addition, 90-95 percent of travel agencies have stopped operating as a result of the crisis.
The tourism sector must spend 5-7 years to recover the workforce. A large number of laborers in the hospitality industry have to move for a new job.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung said that the tourism industry needs to develop key solutions and long-term plan until the next five years, such as putting the Support Fund into operation, restructuring the tourism industry, building tourist products and smart ecotourism system, implementing digital transformation in boosting Vietnamese tourism.
He asked the VNAT to coordinate with Ninh Binh Province to organize the National Tourism Year 2021, and the Vietnam Sports Administration to build tourism marketing plans on the occasion of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (31st SEA Games) which is scheduled to take place in Hanoi at the end of this year; as well as strengthen the connection with Hanoi and HCMC to speed up cooperation agreements between the two major cities and other localities nationwide.
By Mai An – Translated by Kim Khanh @ SGGP
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