In a working session with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) on February 19, he said the safety criteria should focus on transport facilities, border gates, airports, tourist spots, entertainment zones, shopping malls and lodging facilities.

He said communication was vital to show Vietnam is a safe and hospitable destination for all visitors.

Thien ordered the VNAT to complete mobile applications which provide information about safe destinations, while outlining tourism promotion strategies in key markets.

Earlier, the VNAT held a conference to seek countermeasures against the COVID-19 epidemic.

Visitors at ancient Hue citadel

Experts at the event suggested that heed should be paid to tourism markets with robust growth and convenient transportation, like the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan and ASEAN, and potential markets such as India, Australia, New Zealand and North America.

Regarding tourism promotions, the VNAT said that resources should be mobilised to carry out promotional campaigns through television and social networks, including media giants such as CNN.

The VNAT said the COVID-19 epidemic could cause losses of 5.9-7.7 billion USD for the domestic tourism sector in the next three months.

The tourism sector estimated a 90 percent decrease in the number of Chinese visitors due to the disease, and a 50-70 percent drop in the number of holidaymakers from other countries.

Meanwhile, the number of domestic holidaymakers is likely to suffer a fall of 50-70 percent.

China, where the outbreak began late last year, has advised its citizens to stay at home. Vietnam has also stemmed the flow of tourists from coronavirus-stricken areas and suspended festivals. International vacationers have stayed away from Asia while many Vietnamese tourists have decided to stay at home.

Source: VNA