Efforts to Overcome Difficulties to Restore Tourism

9:30:16 AM | 12/15/2021

After nearly two years of “hibernation” resulting from COVID-19 pandemic impacts, the tourism industry of Quang Tri province is making efforts to develop a plan and roadmap to step up solutions to overcome difficulties and stimulate tourism demand. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Le Minh Tuan, Director of the Quang Tri Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In the new normal context, what solutions and scenarios will the sector adopt to restore tourism?

The COVID-19 epidemic has caused heavy losses to the Quang Tri tourism sector. Data showed that tourist arrivals and revenue in 2021 will drop 80% compared to those in 2019.

To restore tourism, the department advised the Provincial People's Committee to issue Plan 168/KH-UBND dated November 23, 2021 on implementation of solutions to restore tourism in the context of "Safe and flexible adaptation, effective control of the COVID-19 epidemic.” Accordingly, from now until December 31, 2021, Quang Tri will focus on repairing, renovating and upgrading facilities, sanitize tourist destinations and prepare fully double-vaccinated personnel; pilot closed package tourism products for “green streams” of tourists", and prepare for a full recovery in the new normal context; and strengthen tourism communication and promotion in the light of the message of "Quang Tri tourism is safe, friendly and attractive".

In the second phase from January 1, 2022, the province will restore all tourism activities and products based on the scenario of safe, flexible adaptation and effective control of the COVID-19 epidemic. In case the COVID-19 epidemic worsens, the scale and scope will be reduced accordingly. The department will advise the Provincial People's Committee to focus on developing tourism as a “symbol of peace”, utilizing local strengths in heritage, historical, spiritual and ecological tourism. It will develop high-quality services and trade coupled with tourism projects in order to synchronously develop tourism, resort and entertainment services. It will call for businesses to make investment in tapping tourism services based on available tourism development resources such as coral discovery, primeval forest exploration, attractive and different exploration. It will embellish historical monuments in a new, creative, economically efficient way and preserve natural values.

In addition to restoring business activity, how will tourism development be accelerated by building safe and attractive destinations?

Implementing Resolution 128/NQ-CP dated October 11, 2021 of the Government and Instructive 3862/HD-BVHTTDL dated October 18, 2021 of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and basing on local situations, the department will actively update and consult the Provincial People's Committee to revise the plan to restore Quang Tri tourism activity in the spirit of "Be active - adaptive - flexible to effectively restore tourism and ensure safety for visitors, tourism workers and the community. Particularly, priority will be given to COVID-19 vaccination rollout for employees so as to fully vaccinate all workers by the end of the first quarter of 2022. In addition to building a set of safety assessment criteria in the COVID-19 time in line with the guidance of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the department will focus on applying information technology, digital transformation in tourism business and management, and coordinate with the health sector to organize training courses on safety assurance, epidemic prevention and control, especially the plan to handle incidents in the course of receiving and serving tourists. Moreover, the sector will survey, build, and announce "green" destinations, travel businesses, transportation firms, accommodation facilities and standard service facilities to pilot itinerary-based tourist pick-up and service.

In 2022, many important events took place in the province: 115th birthday anniversary of late General Secretary Le Duan (April 7, 1907 - 2022); 50 years of Quang Tri liberation (May 1, 1972 - 2022); 50-year celebration of 81 days of Quang Tri Citadel defense (1972 - 2022). Before these important events, the department advised the Provincial People's Committee to plan to celebrate major holidays and Festival For Peace in 2022 with appropriate options. Accordingly, celebrations and festivals will be introduced to domestic and international tourists. At the same time, the agency will actively cooperate with localities to propose common solutions to restore tourism. Currently, it will join in developing a plan on tourism development cooperation with five provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam and Da Nang in 2022.

How has the department accelerated information technology application, digital transformation and document digitization towards formation and development of a smart tourism ecosystem?

Currently, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism is advising construction of a resolution on tourism development support policies in Quang Tri province, thus helping improve the business capacity and competitiveness of tourism enterprises and create new quality tourism products.

Executing Resolution 02-NQ/TU dated October 4, 2021 of the Quang Tri Provincial Party Committee on digital transformation to 2025, with a vision to 2030; Plan 5980/KH-UBND dated December 28, 2020 of the Provincial People's Committee on implementation of the National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with an eye to 2030 in Quang Tri province, the sector will digitize historical and cultural relics and typical tourist products; form digital tourism products using virtual reality technology to introduce destinations, tours, products and services, and develop automatic tour narration applications via smart mobile devices. The ICT sector will also build a tourism portal for visitors to access high-speed internet as soon as they set foot on Quang Tri; install free Wifi internet service at tourist attractions; build Quang Tri tourism image and graphic data system using 3D photo technology; launch a tourism promotion messaging system, a remote intelligent safety and security monitoring system, a tourist information and management center to support visitors in all cases of need for assistance and emergency.

Perhaps, Quang Tri's tourism industry is actively taking steps to digital transformation and taking part in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with the goal of moving towards a smart tourism ecosystem that interconnects tourism stakeholders, including tourists, service providers and authorities.

Thank you very much!

By Vietnam Business Forum