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16/03/2020 - 18:59

Necessary closing of monuments to avoid spread of disease

On the first day of implementing the instruction of the Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee on the temporary suspension of receiving visitors, all monuments, museums, and tourist sites were closed.

On the morning of March 15, many tourists who had not updated the information on closing of monuments still visited the Imperial Citadel

As noted by the reporter on the morning of March 15, Hue Imperial Citadel was no longer crowded with tourists, but there were still many foreign tourists who had not yet updated the information. Unable to get inside, many visitors had to stand to view the Citadel from the outside while listening to their guide introducing the Imperial City complex. Afterwards, they had a walk around the Citadel area, took photos and left.

A tourist group of nearly 20 people wearing masks were surprised when the destination was no longer open to welcome guests. However, they expressed their understanding and happily left after listening to the staff’s explanation at the ticket counter.

Laura, a French tourist, said: “Although it is a bit disappointing that we’re not able to visit, we understand and support the closure of the monument to prevent the spread of disease. In this serious situation, these measures are necessary.”

On the LED screen in front of the ticket counter and in front of the Citadel entrance, Hue Monuments Conservation Centre announced in Vietnamese and English: “Due to the complicated situation of COVID-19, Hue Monuments Conservation Centre will temporarily stop serving sightseeing at the relics of Hue monuments complex from 17:00 on March 14, 2020. The time to reopen the service will be announced by the HMCC. We apologize for the inconvenience.” At the ticket counter, staff was available to assist guests to return their tickets.

The announcement of temporary suspension in receiving tourists was posted in Vietnamese and English by Hue Monuments Conservation Centre

Mr. Mai Xuan Minh, Deputy Director of Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, said: “The Centre’s suspension in welcoming guests affects revenues and the lives of officials and employees, but it is necessary to avoid risk of disease infection. In the days that we are not receiving guests, we will focus on total sanitation, spraying antibacterial disinfectants and doing our professional duties. When we reopen, the center will implement programs to draw visitors.”

Hue Cultural Museum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Diem Phung Thi Art Center and Le Ba Dang Art Center of Hue Fine Arts Museum ... have all closed. Ms. Dinh Thi Hoai Trai, Director of Hue Fine Arts Museum, said: “This is an international tourist season, so foreign tourists come to visit the museum quite a lot. Although we are very cautious in implementing prevention measures, we are still worried. The museum is an indoor space, so there is a high risk of spreading if a guest is infected. Therefore, closing the museum gives us peace of mind. ”

Travel agencies expressed their understanding and accepted this solution. Hue Tourist Training & Tourism Services Joint Stock Company (Huetourist) has stopped taking tours and suspended services, such as: Thuy Bieu tours, Central heritage road tours.

Mr. Tran Quang Hao, Director of the Huetourist Company, said: “The closure of monuments, museums and destinations of interest is necessary in the context of today's complex pandemic. We fully agree and bear economic losses to ensure safety for ourselves, our families and the community”.

The ticket staff at the Imperial Citadel helping visitors to return their tickets 

According to Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism, in this current context, the travel agencies agreed with the decision to close the provincial relics. Aside from the group tours, independent travelers visiting the attractions will inevitably feel disappointed when they see the notice.

The Department of Tourism has informed travel agencies and travelers to understand that this is a mandatory situation. At the same time, it is recommended that tour operators manage, monitor and guide travelers on the preventative measures.

Earlier, on the afternoon of March 14, the Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee requested the Department of Culture and Sports, Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, the People's Committees of districts, towns and Hue city to temporarily suspend receiving visitors at relic sites, museums, destinations of interest in the area from 17h00 on March 14 until further notice, to ensure the prevention and control of COVID-19 disease in the province.

Story and photos: Minh Hien

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