Many new interesting startup ideas, attractive tours,… cannot be held due to the pandemic (in the photo: Tour of visiting Hue by trams in traditional royal clothes)
Tourism is always assessed as a potential sector for starting up thanks to the diverse source of tourists, the more life develops, the higher the demand for tourism increases. Even so, over time in Hue, even before the outbreak of the pandemic, startup environment has not yet been really dynamic.
At present, the pandemic is on its way, making it even more difficult for start-ups due to the limitation of markets and services. Meanwhile, many businesses have to close, even file for bankruptcy. That leads to the start-up belief and spirit somewhat being shaken.
According to the experts, despite the manifold difficulty, the work of starting a business has also been taking place and it will be stronger in the post-COVID-19 period. The pandemic brings lots of challenges, hence, more new demand and values are required for tourism activities. Tourists change their travel habits, tourism products have to change towards safety, associated with nature, indigenous culture, and smart, convenient tourism. Therefore, startups need a long-term vision, applying technological solutions and innovation to catch the “golden chance”.
At the Conference on Thua Thien Hue Tourism Development in the new normal held at the end of March 2021, Mr. Ly Dinh Quan, Director of the Han River Startup Incubator Center said that at present, many tech startups have had smart tourism solutions but lack markets and the ability to attract resources for development.
Although many culinary projects take over cultural and intellectual values, their products haven’t still be commercialized yet. With enterprises developing local tourism destinations, though they have experiential products, they still lack creative business models and market development capacity, etc. The new startups need to carefully study those limitations to startup better post COVID-19.
Tourism is a sector that seems to be easy but not so easy to startup
Need more support
Over time, despite being hard hit by the pandemic, the activities of supporting startups still take place regularly in many localities, especially in the big cities. Even though some programs in the southern region carried out virtual meetings with enterprises doing tourism business in Hue to share their startup experiences, hardly an activity was held in Hue. The fewer opportunities the new startups have to equip themselves with knowledge, the more challenging startup period they have to face than before.
Mr. Le Ngoc Sanh, Chief of the Office of the Tourism Department acknowledged that in comparison to other sectors, startup movement in the tourism sector seems to be easy, but it is often more difficult due to the high requirement on capital, besides, this is a kind of conditioned business so it is forced to fully meet the provisions. However, the support from the State for tourism startups is still limited, even a competition on tourism startup has never been organized.
The recent researches show that the travel demand has been changed a lot, now, it relies heavily on technology. Therefore, the traditional travel forms and philosophies are no longer appropriate, requiring more innovation and creation instead. The young startups are in need of training courses, as well as shares and orientations based on practical analysis and evaluation from the experts and managers working in this sector. More importantly, the support on mechanism and finance is necessary to help the process of doing startup more and more favorable.
Story and photos: Duc Quang