Tuesday, 03/03/2020 11:17

HCM City sees sharp drop in tourism, more pain expected

 Foreign visitors in HCM City. — VNS Photo Thu Hằng

HCM CITY — The number of foreign tourists visiting HCM City in the first two months of the year declined by 62 per cent year-on-year to 335,800, resulting in a 65 per cent drop in tourism revenues, according to its Department of Tourism.

Hotels and tour operators are suffering a rash of cancellations and sharp drop in bookings due to new coronavirus (Covid-19) fears, a report by the department said.

Twenty two major tour operators reported cancellations by nearly 88,000 domestic and international tourists of their trips to the city, causing revenue losses of VNĐ920.5 billion (US$21.4 million).

During the first two months of the year, hotels saw an average revenue drop of 25.4 per cent.

Three- to five-star hotels are expecting a year-on-year drop in revenues of 62 per cent in March and April.

Many hotels and restaurants have laid off workers, with the average rate being 9.5 per cent of employees.

Novotel Saigon and Tân Sơn Nhất Hotel have cut staff by 25 per cent and 20 per cent.

Almost all travel companies have suspended tours to South Korea, Japan, the US, Spain and France from March to August as the coronavirus outbreak worsens globally.

Việt Nam is expected to lose US$5.9-7.7 billion in tourism-related revenues in the three months from February, according to the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism.

City authorities have suspended major public gatherings as a protective measure against Covid-19, including the Áo Dài Festival.

The festival, organised annually by the city Department of Tourism and the Women’s Union, was scheduled to take place at the beginning of this month. — VNS

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