Although domestic tourism is showing signs of recovery, with more localities even gearing up for pilot plans to welcome non-national tourists, the stubborn pandemic is continuing to hinder efforts to fully revive the sector in Vietnam.
|Some options are likely to cater more to expats already in the country, Photo: Le Toan |
With a batch of new cases detected every day last week, the capital of Hanoi on November 1 raised its COVID-19 alert level from “green” to “orange” in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus in the community.
The move has affected the reopening plans of domestic tourism activities in the capital. According to a document issued by Hanoi People’s Committee on November 1, resorts, hotels, and tourist attractions are still allowed to welcome guests on the condition that they must not operate at more than 50 per cent capacity and that staff have been fully vaccinated.
In addition, tourism attractions may welcome groups of no more than 10 people.
The Hanoi Travel Association told VIR that it is discussing with other major tourist centres to agree on a pickup solution, adding that it is necessary to map out a safe area for tourism so that businesses can build closed tours and have travel management policies in line with the pandemic situation.
Other tourist centres such as Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring destinations like Quang Ninh, Haiphong, and Bac Giang have simultaneously worked on plans to receive domestic tourists.
The Quang Ninh Tourism Association has approved a plan to welcome international visitors from November. Visitors coming to the province are required to be fully vaccinated or have a negative rapid test result for those who have just received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated travellers or travellers who have recovered from coronavirus must give evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result carried out a maximum of 72 hours before arrival.
The association is encouraging tourists to join closed and package tours to protect themselves. Visitors will not go to crowded places and will not meet and communicate with other people during their journey.
From this month, focus is being placed on starting self-contained tours for Quang Ninh locals travelling to Haiphong and vice versa, creating favourable conditions for tourism businesses of the two localities.
Other green zones such as Bac Giang and Lao Cai resumed domestic tourism activities from the end of October. Meanwhile, Ninh Binh plans to open its doors to domestic tourists from November 15 and has set up a pilot to welcome tourists from other provinces from December 1 through closed tourism programmes organised by travel companies.
Ho Chi Minh City is also in discussions with Tay Ninh, Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, and some western provinces to revive domestic travel with inter-provincial tours as soon as possible. The city’s Department of Tourism said that travel firms there are offering inter-regional tours to green zones. In addition, the city has also launched waterway tours for the upcoming New Year and Lunar New Year holidays.
Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the city’s Department of Tourism, said in addition to resuming the domestic tourism sector, Ho Chi Minh City also hopes to soon welcome international visitors.
Some other tourist centres that are piloting the arrival of international visitors – Phu Quoc, Khanh Hoa, Danang, and Quang Nam – are still set on reopening for limited international travel from the middle of this month.