Domestic tourism in Vietnam resumes with strict guarantees

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The fourth wave of coronavirus which began in late April has killed off the peak summer travel season, forcing hotels, restaurants and entertainment complexes to suspend operations for nearly five months due to the absence of tourists.

As the pandemic is fundamentally under control and the government has changed its strategy of finding zero cases of Covid to safely respond to the disease, some tourist destinations like Quang Ninh, Lam Dong, Quang Binh and Hai Phong have relaxed restrictions. social distancing and allow entry of vaccinated tourists. .

On October 10, the government cleared the resumption of domestic flights after more than two months, and travel agencies launched tours that meet the new normal requirements.

A common requirement for all tours was that each tourist be fully vaccinated with the second dose administered at least 14 days before arrival or provide a certificate showing that they have contracted and recovered from Covid. They also need a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of departure.

On October 15, Quang Binh and Vung Tau welcomed the first group of domestic tourists from HCMC since the country reopened.

Then on the 23rd, 17 people from Hanoi took a day trip to Bac Giang province and 100 tourists from HCMC went to the southern province of Tay Ninh, which is home to the famous spiritual site of the mountain complex. Ba Den and headquarters of the Cao. Dai religious sect.

Visitors from Hanoi during a visit to Bac Giang province, October 23, 2021. Photo by VnExpress

On October 24, more than 100 people from HCMC visited Mui Ne, a popular resort town in south-central Binh Thuan province.

With the revival of domestic tourism, travel agencies, hotels, resorts and other accommodation establishments are full of hope.

In the north, a number of famous resorts such as Melia Ba Vi Mountain Retreat, Avana Retreat, Mai Chau Hideaway, Serena Resort Kim Boi, and FLC Ha Long have resumed operations, and some are full on weekends.

In the south-central region, sequestered resorts on the Cam Ranh Peninsula in Khanh Hoa province such as The Anam, Radisson Blu, Movenpick Cam Ranh, Cam Ranh Riviera and Noa Resort Cam Ranh have also been given the green light. authorities to welcome again. tourists.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province has allowed Melia Ho Tram Resort, Grand Ho Tram Resort & Casino, Binh Chau Hot Springs, and Six Senses Con Dao Resort to reopen to tourists.

The large tour operator Vietravel has reopened more than 30 offices after more than four months of closure and has started tours in the districts of Can Gio and Cu Chi in HCMC, in the province of Tay Ninh and in the hot springs of Binh Chau in Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

He plans to launch HCMC visits to Phan Thiet, Nha Trang and Da Lat this month.

Other travel agencies such as Saigontourist, Fiditour and TSTtourist have also organized a number of tours to Can Gio and Cu Chi.

The open-top double-decker bus service that takes tourists to major tourist attractions around HCMC resumed on October 25.

Reopening of international tourism

Also last month, the provinces of Quang Nam, Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa and Quang Ninh and the city of Da Nang obtained government approval to allow foreign tourists from November as part of a road map. aimed at gradually resuming international tourism.

Phu Quoc Island, a popular tourist spot, plans to welcome the first foreign tourists again on November 20. They will arrive on charter flights, be 18 years of age and over, and have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.

As Phu Quoc prepares to welcome foreign tourists again, travel agencies say they are ready and waiting.

Quang Nam authorities plan to allow foreign tourists to visit UNESCO recognized sites Hoi An and My Son and stay at designated resorts while Khanh Hoa proposes to allow tourists to visit sequestered resorts on Long Beach in Cam Ranh, about 45 kilometers from Nha Trang.

Tourists row kayaks in the ancient town of Hoi An during the flood season in October 2021. Photo by Xuyen Vy

Tourists row kayaks on a flooded road in Hoi An Old Town following heavy rains in October 2021. Photo by Xuyen Vy

The Vietnam Civil Aviation Authority has proposed the launch of commercial flights to take foreign visitors to several tourist destinations like Phu Quoc, Khanh Hoa and Quang Ninh starting this quarter.

Tourists will first be quarantined at a designated hotel for seven days upon arrival in Vietnam.

But experts have said the quarantine rule makes that impossible.

Challenges

Last month, the Tourism Ministry exempted fully immune domestic tourists from Covid testing, and people will only be tested if they show symptoms or come from designated high-risk areas.

However, quarantine requirements remain a bottleneck, with many localities still requiring visitors to self-monitor their health upon arrival for seven to 14 days, even when fully vaccinated.

Some popular tourist destinations such as Da Nang, Phu Quoc, Cam Ranh and Quang Ninh have yet to reopen to domestic tourists while others cannot due to low vaccination rates.

Tuong Huu Loc, vice president of Lam Dong Tourism Association, said his province is now ready to welcome domestic tourists again, but its vaccination rate remains low, employees of travel agencies, hotels and tourist services that have not yet received two injections.

The province, which is home to Da Lat, should be able to welcome tourists from early December, he added.

Vu The Binh, vice president of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said provinces should prioritize immunization of people living in economic centers and tourist destinations to facilitate a rapid recovery in tourism.

Tourists would only travel if security was assured and procedures were convenient, he added.


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