Destinations in the pilot programme, airlines, and tourism businesses are working to provide a safe route during the New Year and Lunar New Year holidays, especially for groups of international tourists and overseas Vietnamese returning to Vietnam.
|Welcoming international guests and overseas Vietnamese to Vietnam |
According to a report by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), about 140,000 Vietnamese people living abroad need to return home during the holidays. Meanwhile, the frequency of commercial flights to markets with high demand such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan can hardly be met. In addition to proposing to maintain repatriation flights, the CAAV has proposed to increase the frequency of commercial flights to markets with high demand, of which Japan will be the first one.
A representative of Vietnam Airlines said that charter flights to welcome international passengers to pilot destinations in the country, such as Khanh Hoa and Phu Quoc, are still taking place normally. The airline has just been granted a slot for a two-way flight with Japan and is still waiting for further instructions from ministries before opening ticket sales for regular international flights to authorised markets in early 2022.
“The number of guests wishing to repatriate at this time is usually very large. And after the peak of Lunar New Year, the demand for repatriates will gradually decrease, while business, investment, tourism customers will increase,” a representative of Vietnam Airlines said. The representative also recommended that in case it is not possible to expand to all tourism markets, Vietnam can receive more international tourists to destinations in the pilot programme.
Although not on the list, Ho Chi Minh City is also proposing to participate in the pilot programme and offer solutions to open its door to foreign tourists and overseas Vietnamese.
According to Phung Cong Dung, chairman of the Committee of Overseas Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh City, the organisation is implementing a standard plan to support overseas Vietnamese when starting international commercial flights. The plan will focus on answering information about policies and legal procedures on civil status, visa, legal procedures, and changes in Vietnam’s pandemic prevention regulations, as well as assist tourists with problems when entering.
Along with overseas Vietnamese repatriations, the time between the two New Year holidays is also the peak time to serve international tourists coming to Vietnam. Many foreign tourist groups often choose the country as a destination to welcome the new year.
At the end of December, the first 325 Russian tourists with vaccine passports arrived in Nha Trang on an Azur Air flight. The group will experience a vacation of up to three weeks and return home on one of the airline’s bi-weekly flights.
Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, director of Khanh Hoa Tourism Department said, “After China, Russia is Khanh Hoa’s second-largest international tourist market, and the demand for travelling in the winter holidays of the Russian market is very large. This is one of the largest local activities to welcome international visitors with vaccine passports in the context of the new normal.”
Right after New Year, a Russian group of more than 200 people will come to Khanh Hoa in a similar form, and by the end of March 2022, there will be more than 20 flights bringing about 60,000 Russian tourists from Moscow to Nha Trang.