Vung Tau plans special day to refresh travel image
Two weeks after Tropical Storm Durian swept through Ba Ria-Vung Tau, the southern coast province plans to restore tourism infrastructure and organise a special day to refresh the travel image of battered tourism, a provincial official said.
Vice chairman of the province Ho Van Nien told the Daily that he inspected the impact of the storm on the tourism industry on Tuesday and that the provincial government met travel companies to find ways to revive the sector.
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“We will support business with preferential tax policies and organize a day-long event to improve the image of the tourism industry,” he said.
Nien said he expected the Ba Ria-Vung Tau tourism festival to take place on the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, in February. “Every year we will celebrate the day as the opening of the tourism season. Next year we will make it special with many activities aimed at introducing a new image of Ba Ria-Vung Tau in the aftermath of the storm,” he said.
The provincial Department of Tourism reported that around 90% of hotels and other lodgings had been hard hit by the storm. Some of them have been reopened to business, however.
Nien said the province’s tourism industry would fully be reopened on the occasion of Christmas and New Year holidays. Seaside resorts that have incurred huge losses could resume operations months later.
The storm caused tourism material damage totalling up to VND 1,000 billion and tourist arrivals to drop drastically due to the infrastructure heavily damaged, he said.
The tourism industry contributes around VND 1,000 billion to the province’s GDP. In early November, the department reported around five million tourists had visited the province, with revenue reaching VND880 billion, up 15% yea-on-year. The department expects 2006 revenue to amount to VND 1,000 billion and looks to welcome 5.8 million tourists next year.
“We will ask banks to freeze debts owed by enterprises in the industry and at the same time, offer new loans so that they can repair their damaged properties,” he said.