VNAT issues advisory against travels to high-risk destinations as coronavirus fear grows

31-Jan-2020 Intellasia | The SaigonTimes | 7:18 AM Print This Post

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) on January 23 asked local travel firms not to arrange tours to high-risk places as fears of the Wuhan coronavirus are growing.

Tour operators must take careful steps to protect their customers from being infected with the virus and provide them with adequate information about the disease.

VNAT also told foreign travel firms that take international tourists to Vietnam, hotels and other tourism services providers to keep themselves posted and immediately inform the competent agencies of any tourists showing signs of having high temperatures, especially those from coronavirus-hit countries and territories.

In addition, local tourism firms and authorities were asked to get regular updates on the disease on the website of the general Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health.

On January 23, Havatravel, one of the travel firms that take the biggest number of Chinese tourists to Danang City, said that the number of its customers was projected to fall by 2,000 in the Lunar New Year holiday season due to the coronavirus, while other firms are on alert for the disease.

Nguyen Minh Xoang, director of Havatravel, told the Saigon Times that all flights to Wuhan have been canceled, following the city’s travel ban.

Havatravel normally serves an average of 200-300 tourists on four flights from Wuhan to Danang a week.

With the Wuhan government’s travel ban, the firm would lose 2,000 customers during this Tet holiday though it had already made partial payments for accommodation and transport services.

The company is seeking help from services providers and the Danang Tourism Department.

Some hotels, such as TMS, Cocobay and Muong Thanh, which have signed contracts with Havatravel and other travel firms, have confirmed that they would support these travel firms.

Some tour operators in Danang have even proposed the management agencies to temporarily ban tourists from Wuhan from visiting Vietnam to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to the country.

The Lunar New Year holiday is a peak travel season for tourists from China, South Korea and Taiwan, where coronavirus outbreaks have been detected. Therefore, local travel companies are keeping a close watch on new developments.

Saigontourist Group has asked its restaurants, hotels, resorts and travel firms nationwide to get updates on the disease and work out preventive measures to ensure safety for their customers.

Some other companies have provided their customers with face masks.

As of January 23, China has reported 542 coronavirus cases, with 17 people dead.

Besides China, many other countries and territories have been hit by the coronavirus, such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States, Macau, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

A Chinese national and his son have been admitted to Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City and tested positive for the coronavirus. The father is from Wuhan.

Earlier, three tourists from Wuhan showed signs of having high temperatures at Danang and Cam Ranh international airports. They were immediately isolated and returned to their country.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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