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Building separate tourist sites for int’l travelers seen challenging

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HCMC – To boost the tourism sector that has suffered under the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam is considering a separate tourism strategy wherein distinct tourist sites will be developed and promoted to attract international visitors, but this idea does not come without its share of challenges.

Even though this form of separate tourism can help multiple resorts survive the pandemic, it will be hard to ensure the safety of employees who serve the foreign guests and can pose a high risk of community transmission, said the general director of a resort.

“I understand that under this new form of tourism, foreign tourists must arrive from safe areas and must make health declarations, but if they make incorrect health declarations, there would be a risk of potential community spread,” he added.

An official from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism told the Saigon Times that the authority had considered separate services to aid the recovery of tourism and even mooted building separate tourist sites in Cam Ranh and Phu Quoc. However, this idea is still under consideration.

The official also noted that assessing safe countries and territories depends on several factors and not just on their safety measures and Covid-19 prevention efficiency. Their capacity to control the disease in each locality of a country is also important, he said.

For instance, some localities in a country have managed to control the virus, while other localities have yet to contain the pandemic. So, it will be reckless to open up all localities, the official added.

Rolling out separate or quarantine tourism quickly will also be challenging as approval from several relevant departments is necessary.

Moreover, for this new form of tourism, the two countries must reach a consensus and open their doors to each other, which is expected to take considerable time.

After the social distancing period ended, many tour operators discussed and came up with various solutions to set the country’s tourism sector on the road to recovery. Separate or quarantine tourism has been in the spotlight at these discussions.

The idea was also raised at a conference in late May to discuss solutions to promote domestic tourism and restore international tourism post-Covid-19.

Kenneth Atkinson, vice chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board, noted that while the domestic tourism segment has done well, it is not strong enough to boost the local tourism market. As such, it is necessary for Vietnam to open its doors to international travelers, while ensuring their safety.

Atkinson suggested developing distinct areas, which can provide foreign visitors with hospitality services and entertainment activities.

Don Lam, chief executive officer of VinaCapital, put the emphasis on tourism safety, which will help increase the confidence of foreign visitors in Vietnam so they can quarantine in the country and enjoy their trip in one place for 14 days.

Many foreign media outlets have also discussed similar ideas, stating that since Vietnam has effectively brought the virus under control, it might execute a separate tourism strategy to boost its tourism sector.

By Dao Loan

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