A wink of approval for lifting restrictions

HO CHI MINH CITY, 29 April 2020:  Vietnam’s tourism industry looks poised to lead the region’s tourist destinations to recovery after social distancing restrictions lifted and domestic travel took off.

The Vietnamese government lifted social distancing restrictions 23 April setting the stage for the return of domestic travel at its peak in pre-Covid-19 times generated 70 million travellers per year and growing on average 20% for the past five years.

Speaking at the “Future of Travel” podcast organised by Bangkok-based branding agency QUO, Wink Hotels CEO Michael Piro said that the speed at which Vietnam reacted to Covid-19 revealed an underlying strength and resilience that is now setting the country on the road to recovery.

“Vietnam is no stranger to crisis, and the government was very quick to respond,” said Piro. “You can feel the authority, leadership and control. They were very thorough using every channel possible to get the Covid message out, and this inspired a sense of social responsibility and togetherness across the country.

Michael Piro, Wink Hotels CEO.

“Now with social distancing measures lifted, restaurants filling up again and airlines such as Vietjet running six daily return flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City since 23 April, the demand for domestic travel particularly in the young, entrepreneurial population, with two-thirds 70 aged below 35 years old, is apparent, “ said Piro

“Pockets have been affected by the crisis so the numbers won’t come roaring back. But the Vietnamese will be comfortable to get back on planes, and things will rebound fast relative to the rest of the world. The domestic market will look for efficiency, value and experience – and we don’t see it too much effected by Covid-19.” he added.

Wink Hotels plans to open 20 hotels over the next seven years in Vietnam, with the first opening in Q4 of this year in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.