Tourism, hospitality pursue Covid rebound

 The "Vietnam Hanoi Tourism and Hospitality - Managing in uncertain times and the way forward" workshop saw experts mapping out a recovery road map for the struggling industry.

According to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Vice Chairman Ha Van Sieu, Vietnam, hit by a fourth Covid wave, experienced a decline of 16 percent in domestic visitors and 41 percent in tourism receipts in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period last year.

"Accommodation, tour operators and travel services have been shut down or closed temporarily while most international and domestic flights have been cancelled or interrupted significantly due to travel restrictions," he said.

"The percentage of occupied rooms across Vietnam's accommodation services was about 20 percent in 2020 and less than 10 percent in 2021."

RMIT Head of Management from the School of Business & Management, Associate Professor Nguyen Quang Trung, observed that the past two years have been challenging for the hospitality and tourism landscape, leading to a really tough time for hotels, restaurants and tourism establishments.


Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Vice Chairman Ha Van Sieu. Photo by RMIT

Luxury hotel market

The luxury hotel market in Vietnam plays a key role in national economic development and is an important segment of Vietnam’s major developing metropolitan cities.

Dealing with the current uncertain times, InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72 General Manager, Patrick Verove, shared proactive action plans that have helped the hotel overcome these difficulties.

"At a time of great uncertainty, we have ensured guests can trust us for flexibility, cleanliness, safety and wellbeing," Verove said.

"Faced with temporary closures and low demand, we have identified ways for operational changes to improve profitability, protect cash flow, apply sophisticated digital solutions and train our staff with a growth mindset."

Capella Hotel General Manager, Christoph Strahm, emphasized the hotel has taken various measures including speeding up the adaptation of "state-of-the-art" technology and implementation of touchless services to deliver a modern guest experience.

"We have prioritized safety for both guests and staff by adopting touchless services like contactless check-in and check-out, in-room tablets, mobile key and press readers, among others," Strahm said.

Tourism recovery plan

As Vietnam is moving towards easing restrictions imposed due to the pandemic and getting the economy back on track with recovery measures and stimulus packages, the tourism sector is expected to gradually step up.

Sieu urged tourism and hospitality companies to revise their development strategies to adapt to new trends in tourism demand.

"Domestic tourism will surge, with a large proportion of travelers favoring green destinations ranging from beaches, mountains, forests, and national parks, followed by cuisine, culture, history and entertainment," Sieu said.

"Tourism and hospitality companies should innovate and diversify into new products that focus on wellness, safety, nature and authentic experiences."


The online forum by RMIT School of Business & Management Tourism and Hospitality Management Program attracted local authorities and business leaders in the tourism and hospitality industry. Photo by RMIT

Following the January event, the online forum hosted by RMIT School of Business & Management Tourism and Hospitality Management Program attracted close to 100 participants, including local authorities and business leaders in the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as academics and students.

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