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Mass cancellations over COVID-19 fear concern hotel owners in north-central Vietnamese beach city

Friday, April 30, 2021, 17:34 GMT+7
Mass cancellations over COVID-19 fear concern hotel owners in north-central Vietnamese beach city
People go swimming at a beach in Sam Son City, Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, April 24, 2021. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

Accommodation service providers in Sam Son City, a famous destination for beach retreat in the north-central Thanh Hoa Province, have been on tenterhooks as holiday makers are canceling their bookings en masse amidst reports of new community COVID-19 cases in Vietnam.

Hotels and homestay services in Sam Son were expected to welcome a slew of visitors during the four-day public holiday from Friday to May 2 to celebrate the Reunification Day (April 30) and the International Workers’ Day (May 1).

However, the number of arrivals at the beach city has not matched expectation despite comfortable weather and even lagged far behind the figure of April 24 when the opening ceremony of the 2021 sea tourism festival took place.

According to hotel owners along the C beach, many groups of travelers, who had booked their stays for the holiday in advance, unexpectedly withdrew their reservations as 13 new community cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Hanoi, northern Ha Nam and Hung Yen Provinces, and Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday and Friday morning.

A hotel manager on Nguyen Van Cu Street revealed that all of its rooms were fully booked about one month ago, but more than 60 percent of them have now been canceled.

“Such sudden cancellation definitely affects the business,” said Dao Van Tuyen, deputy director of Thanh Nien Hotel in Sam Son.

“Currently, Thanh Hoa has not recorded any COVID-19 case, so visitors should not be too anxious, but assuredly come here for a vacation,” Tuyen added, affirming that all disease prevention and control measures are strictly applied at his facility.

Sam Son City currently has 690 accommodation bases, providing more than 19,000 rooms, plus nearly 300 food service establishments. 

In 2021, the coastal city sets a target to welcome about 4.6 million domestic and foreign tourists.

Despite the fall in visitors, the city’s authorities have required all local accommodation establishments and restaurants to take COVID-19 safety regulations seriously, considering imposing such heavy punishments as business license revocation and operation suspension on those failing to comply with the request.

In the provincial scale, Thanh Hoa’s hotel room booking occupancy rate had previously reached 90 percent prior to the outbreak.

The local tourism administrators are working on an overall report of booking cancellations.

Previously, authorities in Thanh Hoa suspended the opening ceremonies of Hai Hoa sea tourism festival in Nghi Son Town and Hai Tien marine tourism event in Hoang Hoa District to set aside their funding for COVID-19 prevention.

The move received great support from the local people.

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