Hong Kong mulls travel bubble with Phu Quoc Island

August 11, 2021 | 12:49
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Hong Kong is exploring the possibility of developing a travel bubble arrangement with Phu Quoc Island.
Hong Kong mulls travel bubble with Phu Quoc Island
Hong Kong is interested in setting up a travel bubble with Phu Quoc Island. Photo: Unsplash

Hong Kong's Travel Industry Council (TIC) has recently expressed interest to join a travel bubble agreement with Phu Quoc after the island announced plans to launch its own tourism pilot project if it reaches vaccination goals by September.

During a recent meeting with Vietnamese Consul General Pham Binh Dam in Hong Kong on August 4, TCI chairman Jason Wong said that TIC supports the proposal to open a travel bubble with Phu Quoc Island. The resort island is an ideal place to carry out a travel bubble if the two sides can agree on quarantine-free and implementation mechanisms.

On the same note, Dam said that, "With no end in sight to the pandemic, border closures are causing businesses and economies to collapse while failing to keep countries absolutely safe. Therefore, border reopening would be necessary but should be piloted on a small scale before being expanded. The Consulate General of Vietnam in Hong Kong will work closely with TIC and relevant agencies of both sides to implement a travel corridor as soon as the situation allows."

Phu Quoc Island expects to welcome international visitors with vaccine passports beginning in October. The pilot programme to welcome fully jabbed tourists to Phu Quoc is expected to restore Vietnam's inbound tourism market and recover the tourism industry. If successful, the pilot programme will promote Vietnam as a safe and attractive destination with effective pandemic prevention and control measures.

Besides Vietnam, Hong Kong will also review a planned air travel bubble with Singapore in late August after the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Singapore. Both governments would review the target date, taking into account the effectiveness of the enhanced infection control measures implemented by Singapore and the global situation at the time.

By Ngoc Khue

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