Mish-mash of conditions serve up tourism confusion

November 12, 2021 | 09:46
Regulations on travel and medical conditions are not consistent across localities, causing many tourists to be confused, while companies face difficulties in preparing their tours.
Agencies with set tours around some attractions are expected to perform better as they ensure safety
Agencies with set tours around some attractions are expected to perform better as they ensure safety

Hanoitourist has asked neighbouring localities to organise a pilot for a new tour, after Hanoi began to loosen some restrictions in the past month. However, each place has different regulations to welcome guests, and most localities are still hesitant to organise tours for guests from Hanoi – which is experiencing rising coronavirus cases and is considered a red zone by many other localities.

“We have asked state management agencies and local authorities to issue a common and unified set of rules to resume tourism. Airlines need to consider flight plans between cities, offering suitable fares for small groups and guests under 18 years old,” said deputy director of Hanoitourist, Le Hong Thai.

Thai added that tourists are concerned about safety issues. Travel businesses cannot simply sell tours, but also have to consult in detail about the regulations of each locality, accommodation, restaurants, as well as address tourists’ concerns about returning to their residence after the trip. This presents a barrier that prevents many businesses from launching new tours.

Nguyen Le Huong, deputy general director of Vietravel, said that safety would the number one priority, but administrative procedures between localities are complicated. “If tourists must be isolated and tested everywhere, they could not travel properly,” Huong said. “All efforts of businesses and suppliers cannot stimulate tourism, because only when destination and departure locations are safe will people return.”

In some other localities in the south, such as Vung Tau city, accommodation businesses still wonder if they are prohibited from operating or not, despite the official end of social distancing measures for more than a month.

As noted by Minh Han Travel Service Trading Co., Ltd. in Vung Tau, despite having a large number of bookings, the company cannot bring in guests. Accommodation businesses in Vung Tau have had to close down, as there was no income.

Along with tourism businesses, many tourists feel confused about the regulations. Khanh Nguyen, who lives in Haiphong, said he planned to travel to Lao Cai in early October, but according to the instructions of the Lao Cai Department of Health, he would have to be isolated for seven days if travelling through Hanoi.

“Haiphong at that time was a green zone, but Hanoi was red. To go to Lao Cai, I had to go through Hanoi, so I had to cancel that trip,” he said.

In mid-October, when Nguyen learned that Lao Cai had classified Hanoi as a green zone, Khanh wanted to return to his old plan but decided to wait until Lao Cai announced clear regulations before departing.

Some domestic tourism activities are beginning to bustle again after a long time on the sidelines. Representatives of various tourism businesses said that set tours are still attractive because they both satisfy the needs of visitors to explore and ensure safety.

Many localities have abandoned regulations on testing and isolation for visitors from green areas or for those with full vaccinations. Ho Chi Minh City, which was heavily affected by the pandemic, has also begun to restore inter-provincial tourist routes to Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, and Binh Dinh.

To facilitate domestic tourism, the Vietnam Tourism Association previously suggested that localities focus on vaccination for economic and tourism destinations.

By Thai An

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