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Vietnam's tourism advertisement plan ruined as Hanoi F1 race postponed

09:57 | 20/03/2020

As Formula One race was called off due to Covid-19 outbreak, Vietnam's proposed plan on promoting tourism to the world has failed. 

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Illustrative photo.

Vietnam Grand Prix Limited Liability Company (VGPC) on March 13 announced that it had decided to postpone Formula 1 VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix 2020, slated for April 3-5. The race was expected to attract 100,000 visitors.

VGPC said this is a ‘difficult decision’ because 2020 is the first year for Vietnam to become an official member of 22 countries hosting this professional car race.

In order to prepare for the race, Vietnam Grand Prix has built infrastructure and used modern technology to satisfy the strictest requirements set by F1 and the International Automotive Federation.

The race field in My Dinh was completed and is ready to be put into operation.

"In the press release published on F1 official website, VGPC said it will update policies for ticket purchasers, sponsors and partners in due course. The race is expected to be organized soon after Covid-19 is controlled."

The postponement of the race is anticipated as the epidemic has been escalating, but it has disappointed travel firms.

Vietnam once had high hopes for Formula 1 VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix 2020 as an important event to attract foreign travelers.

In mid-February, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said the race will be the highlight which helps the tourism sector, which was on the decline because of Covid-19, attracting travelers.

VNAT and VGPC signed a cooperation agreement in 2020-2025 on advertising and promoting tourism in association with F1 race.

The agency planned to run a sale promotion program for nine months, commencing from April 2020. The priority target markets of the program are Southeast Asia, India, Russia, Australia and Europe.

However, Dinh Ngoc Duc, VNAT’s Market Department director, on March 13 said that all the advertisement and tourism promotion plans will change because of new events.

He went on to say that as in current conditions, it will be ineffective to carry out tourism promotion activities, and that it is necessary to ‘wait for the right moments’.

“All promotion programs need reconsideration and they need to be launched at reasonable moments to ensure efficiency,” he said.

The ‘reasonable moments’ doesn’t mean the time when the epidemic ends. “There are markets where we can launch promotion campaigns when the epidemic eases,” he said.

As for the demand stimulus programs with tour fee discounts, they will still be prepared by localities, associations and travel firms and will be launched after the epidemic is controlled.

Earlier this week, Zing.vn cited a source saying that F1 race in Vietnam may be held prior or posterior to Brazil’s race, which is slated to take place on November 13-15.

F1 Vietnam Grand Prix goes third on F1's 22-race calendar, shortly after Australia and Bahrain, and is set to take place on April 5, 2020.

The F1 circuit, launched on March 20 last year and which is nearing completion, is considered the combination of modern technique, advanced technology, and traditional architecture. The track runs through some of Hanoi's major streets such as Le Duc Tho, Thang Long avenue and Me Tri and has 22 turns.

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VNF/Vietnamnet