The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) could slow Vietnam’s GDP growth from over 7 percent in 2019 to 6.09 percent this year if the disease is contained in Q2, the Ministry of Planning and Investment estimates. If the disease is contained within Q1, growth for the whole year could hit 6.27 percent, still lower than the decade-high achievement last year. “The epidemic’s impact on economic growth this year is very serious,” said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong at a recent meeting. Tourism will be the first to take a hit, with Covid-19 stripping industry revenue of between $7 and $15 billion this year, the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board projects. The calculation is based on an anticipated drop of 90-100 percent in Chinese tourist numbers, and 50-70 percent in domestic and other markets. Localities have witnessed a drop in tourism since Vietnam first confirmed two cases of Covid-19 infection on January 23. Hanoi has seen 19,300 international tourists cancelling hotel bookings as of February 6. Khanh Hoa Province, home to travel hotspot Nha Trang where 70 percent of tourists are Chinese, now has 5,000 empty rooms and 5,000 unemployed tourism staff thanks to the epidemic. “It will take a long… Read full this story
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