Vietnam is developing a roadmap to be fully open to international visitors. From November, Phu Quoc will pilot welcoming international guests, followed by Nha Trang, Ha Long, Hoi An, and Da Lat in December.
At an online conference with localities to resume both domestic and international tourism following the recent policy of living with the pandemic, the representative of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said that from November 2021, Vietnam is expected to start welcoming domestic guests from localities that have controlled the Covid-19 pandemic in association with safety measures of prevention and control procedures, such as vaccination, RT-PCR test/rapid test, strictly implementing the 5K principle (mask, disinfection, distance, no gathering, and medical declaration), make health declaration, scan QR code, use PC-Covid application,… but still ensuring flexibility and convenience for tourists.
For international visitors, the National Administration of Tourism plans to pilot international visitors to Phu Quoc from November 2021 to March 2022. After that, the pilot program will expand to welcome international guests to many other destinations that meet the requirements from December 2021 to June 2022, such as Ha Long (Quang Ninh), Hoi An (Quang Nam), Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa), Da Lat (Lam Dong).
In Phu Quoc – a pilot destination to welcome international guests, 100% of residents and workers have received the 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccination and will complete the 2nd dose in November 2021. This will create herd immunity and be ready to welcome international guests again.
Meanwhile, in Khanh Hoa, Director of the Department of Tourism Nguyen Thi Le Thanh said that she had just submitted a report to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism proposing a pilot plan to welcome international guests with “vaccine passports” by chartered flights from November 2021.
Many travel companies and accommodation establishments have also sent documents to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism for permission to welcome international guests.
Most recently, Crystal Bay proposed to pick up passengers from Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports to Cam Ranh (Khanh Hoa) from October 16, with one charter flight per day from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. These guests will stay in two resorts at Bai Dai (Cam Lam district). These resorts are allowed to operate by the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee. The implementation period is 3 months.
Previously, Anex Vietnam Travel and Trading Company Limited also sent an official letter to the National Administration of Tourism, requesting to welcome Russian tourists with “vaccine passports” by charter flights. Guests need to buy a tour with destinations like Phu Quoc, Khanh Hoa, Da Nang,… stay at least the first 7 nights at designated resorts (hotels) with restricted movement. If approved, thousands of Russian tourists come to Vietnam every month.
According to a representative of Nhat Minh Tourism Joint Stock Company, in early December 2021, the company will cooperate with Siberia Airlines (S7) to organize 4 flights a week to bring Russian tourists from Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk to Cam Ranh.
Therefore, Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa) will most likely be faster than Phu Quoc in welcoming the first international guests. Some other localities such as Quang Ninh, Quang Nam, Thanh Hoa,… also announced their readiness to pilot international arrivals by the end of this year.
For domestic tourists, some destinations have welcomed tourists since October, proceeding to welcome foreign tourists.
Mr. Pham Ngoc Thuy, Director of Quang Ninh Department of Tourism, said that after the reopening, on October 4 alone, Ha Long Bay welcomed more than 600 visitors. The province strives to reach 900,000 domestic visitors in the last 3 months of 2021. Quang Ninh and Hai Phong also embarked on building a pilot cooperation plan to reopen tourism activities and exchange visitors.
Similarly, Phu Tho allows tourism activities within the province from September 29, and Bac Giang from October 4, etc.
Some other northern provinces such as Hanoi, Ha Giang, Thanh Hoa have actively built many tourism products to welcome domestic tourists as soon as they are allowed, but many places are cautious and not ready to open their doors.
For example, Da Nang is expected to welcome domestic guests in June 2020. Binh Dinh plans to restart tourism on the Phuong Mai peninsula, but only for domestic tourists, and is expected from January 2022.
The current problem is that some localities are still cautious in pandemic prevention. The reason is, besides a few localities with the rate of 1st dose vaccination reaching 95% of the whole population, there are provinces where only 20% of tourism staff have received the 1st dose.
Besides, even “open” localities are still struggling with the set of safe tourism criteria because each place has its own regulations.
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