(HBO) – Tourism activities and craft villages in Mai Chau district are experiencing a period of stagnation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. A number of households earning their living from tourism and traditional crafts are struggling due to unstable livelihoods and income.

During the period of activity suspension, households working in community-based tourism in Lac village of Chieng Chau commune (Mai Chau district) have been upgrading infrastructure to prepare for tourism resumption.

Travellers absent in community-based tourism village

Lac village in Chieng Chau commune is a famous community-based tourism village. In the peak season, it welcomed around 1,500 visitors, both Vietnamese and foreign ones, per day. But that was the time before the COVID-19 pandemic started, according to village leader Ha Cong Hong.

Ha Cong Tan, owner of a community-based tourism hostel in Lac village, has suspended receiving tourists since early May.

He said the households running hostels like his have had to halt activities to carry out anti-pandemic measures. Many have temporarily closed their establishments.

To prepare for tourism reopening once COVID-19 is brought under control, some households have been upgrading accommodation facilities, he noted, adding that his family is also expanding infrastructure to welcome travellers back when possible.

Traditional craft villages face numerous difficulties

Previously earning incomes of 3 million - 4 million VND (131 - 175 USD) per month, workers of the Chieng Chau brocade making, service, and tourism co-operative is now unemployed. To support families, some of them have had to seek jobs at tailor shops or companies in the Chieng Chau industrial cluster, but the new jobs are not stable.

Ha Thi Lieu, deputy head of the culture and information division of Mai Chau, said all tourism business and accommodation establishments across the district have suspended operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, affecting about 1,200 workers of hostels, community-based tourism facilities, and craft villages.

She noted aside from requesting the serious implementation of anti-pandemic measures, local authorities have also encouraged households to improve services and upgrade infrastructure. The Mai Chau People’s Committee has ordered specialised agencies to list people eligible to benefit from the Government’s aid package of 26 trillion VND for pandemic-hit enterprises and people, including those working in the tourism sector.

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