Tourists ride bicycles in Hoi An Town, Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam on March 18, 2020, a week before the country suspended international flights due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Tan.
A survey shows that 56 percent of travel firms in Vietnam expect their business to return to normal next year with the Covid-19 pandemic contained.
While 22 percent of the survey respondents hoped their business would recover by the end of this year, the remaining 22 percent did not make any prediction.
The survey was done recently by Vietnam’s Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) that polled 432 travel companies in the country.
It also found that 79 percent of the respondents have cut their staff to reduce costs while 73 percent have restructured their customer base.
Most of the firms (99 percent) wanted the government to prioritize Covid-19 vaccination for tourism workers while 88 percent wanted tax cuts.
The survey showed that as of March this year, 39 percent of workers in the tourism sector had been unable to resume work, while 61 percent had returned to work with reduced salary and working hours.
Vietnam earned tourism revenues of VND312.2 trillion ($13.5 billion) in 2020, down 56 percent year-on-year. A total of 3.83 million foreign tourists visited the country, a 76 percent drop, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
The Vietnamese government closed national borders and canceled all international flights on March 25. It has since allowed only Vietnamese repatriates and foreign experts and highly-skilled workers.
While the country has gone for over a month without community transmissions, the government is calling for greater vigilance against Covid-19 amid intensified outbreaks with new variants in neighboring countries like Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.