Ho Chi Minh City to resume tourism market as Vietnam restarts domestic flights three months after suspension

A group of tourists visiting the Can Gio district last week. The district being one of the city’s "green zones”, has started to welcome tourists with green cards. - Vietnam News/ANN

HANOI/HO CHI MINH CITY, Oct 11 (Vietnam News-ANN/dpa): A number of travel agencies in Ho Chi Minh City have started bringing tourists back on tours, developing new local tourism products and preparing to connect to neighbouring provinces for closed tours.

Well-known tourism agency, Vietravel, has organised the first tour to Can Gio after a long social distancing period, with the participation of vice-chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Phan Thi Thang.

The city Department of Tourism and Vietravel have coordinated activities, from surveying to ensuring safe tourism products. Can Gio, being one of the city’s "green zones”, has started to welcome tourists with green cards.

“The company has prepared to kick off the market in October and reopen business operations at its headquarters and branches nationwide. Vietravel now focuses on developing products that serve locals' staycation. In the next stage, the company will push connectivity among provinces via sets of tourism products that tourists can enjoy,” a representative of Vietravel said.

Vietnam’s government also has allowed the resumption of 19 domestic flight routes nearly three months after they were suspended due to Covid-19, aviation authorities said.

On Sunday, the first post-lockdown commercial flight left Hanoi for Ho Chi Minh City following the government’s approval.

"The resumption of passenger transport activities in general and air transport activities in particular in the current situation have special and important meaning as it is both ensuring the recovery of production and business, travel demand and ensuring strict implementation of measures to prevent and control the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said in a statement on Monday (Oct 11).

Passengers must be fully vaccinated, or have a hospital discharge certificate of recovery from Covid-19 and a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours before boarding.

They are required to self-quarantine and have their health monitored for at least seven days.

International flights were stopped early last year and are yet to resume, but the government is mulling a plan to receive international tourists to Phu Quoc Islands from November 2021 to March 2022.

The plan will then expand to welcome tourists to a number of destinations from December 2021 to June 2022, such as Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Da Lat.

Since its fourth wave of the coronavirus began in April, Vietnam has reported nearly 850,000 cases and 20,500 deaths.

The country has fully vaccinated over 15 million people out of a total population of 98 million, one of the lowest immunisation rates in Asia.

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