The People’s Committee of Khanh Hoa Province, home to beautiful beaches in south-central Vietnam, on Wednesday announced preliminary steps it is taking to allow international tourists with ‘vaccine passports’ to visit the locality.
The committee has asked the provincial tourism department to collaborate with the provincial health department and the Nha Trang - Khanh Hoa Tourism Association to map out a detailed plan and pool opinions on it from related agencies and organizations.
The results of the collaboration will then be reported to the provincial steering committee for tourism development before being submitted to the higher authorities for the final decision.
According to the framework requirements for the pilot scheme, accepted arrivals must have already received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, hold a vaccination record certificate, and test negative for the coronavirus using the real-time RT-PCR method 72 hours before leaving their home countries.
Vaccine passport holders will be able to travel to Khanh Hoa on charter flights.
Khanh Hoa authorities noted that the pilot vaccine passport program should initially be carried out on a small scale in order to reduce the impact on the local socio-economic situation and the daily lives of local residents.
The trial area is thus expected to be limited to Bai Dai Beach in Cam Ranh, a city famous for beach tourism in the south-central province.
“The reason why we chose Bai Dai Beach in Cam Ranh is this is an independent tourist and resort cluster located far from residential areas, with full infrastructure which can be easily controlled and where safety can be ensured for all visitors,” said Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, deputy director of the provincial tourism department.
The plan, scheduled for launch in August, should also take into account the developments of the pandemic in the province and new directions for COVID-19 prevention from the central government and ministries, local authorities added.
It is estimated that in the first six months of 2021, Khanh Hoa welcomed just over 457,000 visitors, down 38.5 percent from the same period last year and only hitting 9.1 percent of the 2021 target, according to the provincial tourism department’s report.
Of that, 18,800 were international tourists, marking a year-on-year decline of nearly 95.5 percent, while the number of domestic visitors reached 438,300, up 34.4 percent over the same period last year.
Only about 400 out of 1,147 tourist accommodation businesses and 80 out of 141 tourism companies, including 69 international and 11 domestic tour operators, are currently in operation in the province due to the adverse impacts of the health crisis.