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|Agencies brushing up for grand reopening of Vietnamese tourism, illustration photo|
Although the big reopening for Vietnam’s international tourism has yet to begin, many tour operators have received orders from many foreign tourists and partners, especially for destinations like Phu Quoc Island and Nha Trang.
Nguyen Duc Tan, general director of Anex Tour, has been cooperating with Azur Air and Anex Tour Russia to promote and build packages for tourists in this market for many months. If approved by the prime minister, Anex Tour will start bringing visitors to Vietnam before 2021 ends.
“In the first phase, the company is expected to welcome guests from Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Vladivostok. After that, if allowed, we will reopen charter flights to Saint Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, and other cities,” Tan said.
Anex Vietnam will welcome guests under to the Nha Trang 7+ model, in which those with vaccine passports will stay for a minimum of seven nights at designated resorts in Bai Dai (Nha Trang), with limited movement. After the initial seven days, visitors can visit, eat, and shop at separate locations and move to selected hotels and resorts in the city.
Currently, the company has signed contracts for thousands of standard 3-5 star rooms at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, The Anam Resort, Vinpearl Resort, and Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa to welcome international guests.
According to Le Van Nghia, director of Nhat Minh Tourism JSC, the central province of Khanh Hoa is a favourite winter vacation destination for Russian tourists because of its beautiful bays, warm climate, and resorts.
Nghia said, “We coordinated with Siberia Airlines to organise six flights per week to bring Russian tourists from Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, and Irkut to Khanh Hoa from the beginning of December, and we expect to expand to 10 other Russian cities and 20 flights per week.”
Many other tourism businesses on the pilot list are also getting ready to welcome international tourists.
According to a representative of Eco Beach Company in Hon Thom, Phu Quoc Island, the company’s operating capacity has only reached 30 per cent during the last two years. Despite many difficulties and no revenues, the company continues to ensure a salary for its scuba diving instructors, so that they can be ready to return at any time.
“We are ready to welcome tourists. Hopefully, the vaccine passport will be deployed as planned to keep up with the peak tourist season,” the representative said.
Meanwhile, a representative of Sun Group – which owns many high-class tourist attractions and resorts in Phu Quoc – also shared the company’s plans to maintain and embellish hotel projects, amusement parks, entertainment areas, and its cable car system in the south of the island.
Tran Nguyen, head of sales at Sun World said, “It is necessary to reorient the flow of customers to build products and services that are suitable for their needs and tastes, as well as change Vietnam’s image of a cheap destination but instead focus on its friendliness.”
Although the reopening is necessary, some experts believe that Vietnam’s tourism should diversify its customer markets instead of relying on large markets like China and Russia.
China currently maintains a stringent pandemic-prevention policy, so very few Chinese will travel abroad at this time. Russia, meanwhile, is becoming a hot spot for the pandemic, and only a third of Russians are fully vaccinated. Therefore, not many Russian tourists would be eligible to travel to Vietnam.
“At the beginning of the opening, visitors from destinations not too far away, such as Australia, the Middle East, and South Korea will be the mainstream,” said Bach Tran, regional manager Vietnam, China and Hong Kong at Discova Vietnam.
According to Erkan Tuncaakar, general manager of Go Vacation Vietnam, many hotels, tour guides, and offices are ready to operate.
However, Tuncaakar believes that information from managers is inconsistent and constantly changing, so up to this point, travel agencies are still walking in fog. Companies are now indebted to customers, who have many questions about isolation, prices, and other issues.
“Visitors won’t wait,” he said, “simply because they have better options in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and other markets which are close to Vietnam.”
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