After “hibernation”

Sa Pa national tourist area and tourist attraction destinations in the province, such as Bac Ha, Bao Yen, Bat Xat ... no longer had quiet, gloomy days, but has begun to bustle again and appeared some foreign tourists to walk. Those good signs have "awakened" tourism enterprises after more than 2 years of "hibernation".

Tourists experienced Dragon waterfall (Trung Leng Ho commune, Bat Xat district).    Photo: Ha huy

"Catching up" again with tour guests

In recent months, the life of Ho, also known to many tourists as Ho Lao Than, a porter working in Bat Xat, has been revived. Every morning busy preparing backpacks, climbing sticks, boots... sweating on the roads and mountains with Ho just seems to be a dream after 2 years of "freezing" work, but it has become a reality. During the complicated development of the Covid-19 pandemic, instead of daily chatting with tourists, introducing the beauty of his hometown and traveling on trips like before, he went to the fields, plowed, and planted trees with his family like a real farmer.

Mr. Ho Lao Than (3rd from the right, back row) was happy to guide guests back.

Ho started working as a porter to lead groups of tourists to climb the mountain in 2016. His work went smoothly when the demand for climbing and conquering the peak increased. At the time when mountain tourism had the most positive signs, Ho had to stop working because of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 2 years of "hibernation" because of the pandemic, but Ho has still chatted and connected with tourists through social networks every evening. Along with that, he has still regularly posted photos, introduced mountains and roads on his personal facebook page so as not to lose connection with tourists. When the pandemic has been gradually brought under control, his work has returned. On average, each weekend, he receives about 40 tourists registering to climb the mountain, mainly from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces.

“The number of guests to contact me is increasing day by day, which is a good sign. Most tourists who book an appointment to experience climbing tours in Bat Xat area usually close their orders quite quickly. Plan, agree and go, not book a tour as long as before," Ho shared.

As for Tran Huyen, an employee of Ahatrip VN Tourism Company Limited, its headquarter in Sa Pa town, shared: "More than 2 years of the pandemic is the time when tourists have to wait. My colleagues and I both have to find other jobs to serve our lives. Luckily, since the beginning of the year, the pandemic has been basically controlled, and domestic tours have gradually returned. Especially during the last holidays of March 10 (lunar calendar) and April 30 - May 1, I was extremely happy to be busy scheduling and connecting with many delegations. Our company has welcomed the first international delegations to Vietnam in general and to Sapa in particular.

Mr. Nguyen Van Gioi and the first international delegations after the pandemic.

Receiving good news from international tourists

Tourism has been already restored, connecting with tourists is essential at this time. According to surveys and records from a number of travel companies, domestic tourists have reached about 60% - 70% compared to the time before the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. However, the demand of international tourists to Vietnam is increasing. After 2 years of the pandemic, the demand for foreign travel has increased, because before that, the strict entry policy of countries to prevent and control the pandemic caused tourists to delay their plans. Ahatrip VN Tourism Company Limited specializes in providing tours and accommodation services for tourists not only in the province, but also domestically and internationally. Currently, the customer segment that the company targets are international tourists to Vietnam and Vietnamese customers going abroad. Ms. Tran Huyen said: Realizing the increasing demand for international travel, we are focusing on this customer segment. Regarding the domestic market, we still promote advertising and marketing, but the competitiveness of domestic tourism enterprises at this time is very fierce. In addition, many domestic tourists still travel in a small, separate, spontaneous form. 

Working as a tour guide for travel agencies since 2009 and also the owner of a homestay in Bao Yen, Mr. Nguyen Van Gioi has long experience in the profession and has a certain number of customers. Mr. Gioi said: “When Vietnam opened to tourism, especially with favorable policies for international tourists, many of my "close" groups of tourists have returned to Vietnam. During my time working in the tourism industry, I am fortunate to have many foreign friends and close connections with travel agencies, so I have a stable source of customers.

Tourism enterprises are "awakened" after 2 years of "hibernation".

Anh Gioi also added: My customers are mainly international, from Europe. Because the main customers are identified as international tourists, the number of tourists has not really returned as much as it was before the pandemic outbreak. However, our facility has had many bookings for international tourists to experience at the end of the year. 

Tourism is showing strong recovery signals and grasping the "golden opportunity" to boom. Those who have worked in the tourism industry for more than 2 years during the complicated situation of the pandemic are all enthusiastic people who have been in the industry for a long time and are now very excited to return to work. “During the time of the pandemic, we still tried to connect to share difficulties and encourage each other to try together. Currently, we have had a plan to reopen, share and introduce customers to each other and hope that tourism activities will be more dynamic," Mr.Nguyen Gioi shared.

According to LCDT

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