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Ho Chi Minh City travel sector shifts focus to retail tourism

Thursday, January 07, 2021, 12:00 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City travel sector shifts focus to retail tourism
The general meeting of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association on December 5, 2021. Photo: N. Binh / Tuoi Tre

The Ho Chi Minh City travel sector plans to double down on its investment in pushing retail tourism to the domestic market in the hope of recovering from the effects of COVID-19.

The city should leverage its strong retail sector in order to boost the tourism industry, Nguyen Thi Khanh, chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association, said during the organization’s general meeting on Tuesday.

The city’s tourism sector was heavily battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted tourism operations throughout Vietnam and forced many firms out of business, leading to many of the industry's professionals seeking new jobs or change careers.

In light of the situation, the new standing committee of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association aims to boost support programs for businesses and promotional activities in order to help the local tourism industry bounce back.

To achieve the goal, the organization is advising firms to develop new products and cooperate with localities to create new round trip tours targeting local travelers.

The organization has also urged agencies to create a preemptive plan to safely welcome foreign tourists back to the country.

In the long run, the city must develop a comprehensive plan to sustainably develop tourism, capitalizing on its bustling retail sector and essentially positioning Ho Chi Minh City as the region’s 'shopping heaven.'

Mindful of the devastation COVID-19 has wreaked on local tourism, the association put forward bold plans to stimulate the recovery of the sector.

In furtherance of their vision to transform Ho Chi Minh City into the liveliest tourism city in Asia, local authorities reached out to the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association for assistance, said Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the municipal Department of Tourism.

Product development will serve as a key component of the plan to achieve this goal and firms are encouraged to team up with governmental agencies to diversify tourism offerings.

Ha Van Sieu, deputy director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said tourism in Ho Chi Minh City assumes a leading role that poses significant impacts on the overall development of Vietnam’s tourism, and the city’s tourism association has proved a great leader by reaching to the counterparts of other locales to promote the direction of VNAT.

“During these hard times, Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism [stakeholders] have linked up to overcome obstacles and aid the industry’s recovery, spearheading [domestic] economic development,” Sieu said.

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