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Shops in Vietnam’s ancient town gear up to welcome back tourists after COVID-19 closure

Shops in Vietnam’s ancient town gear up to welcome back tourists after COVID-19 closure

Thursday, November 04, 2021, 19:04 GMT+7
Shops in Vietnam’s ancient town gear up to welcome back tourists after COVID-19 closure
A fashion shop reopens in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

Shop owners throughout the famous Hoi An Ancient Town in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam are working to ensure that everything is safe and ready should tourists return after a long time of closure for COVID-19 prevention.

They started cleaning up their stores on Wednesday morning following local authorities’ decision to gradually resume tourism from November 15.

Many stores in Hoi An Ancient Town selling such souvenirs as silk products and pearl jewelry, which are favored by both domestic and foreign visitors to the UNESCO-recognized destination, are going all out for the reopening.

“As the latest coronavirus outbreak has shut down shops across the town since the national holiday to celebrate Reunification Day [April 30] and International Workers’ Day [May 1], we are struggling because we mainly sell souvenirs to foreign visitors,” said Nguyen Thi Dinh, a 45-year-old owner of Hon Bien Shop, which offers pearls, marble, and coral jewelry on Tran Phu Street.

“Now the local tourism has been reopened to international visitors, we are all excited."

At a silk shop on the same street, workers are repairing and redecorating the venue.

Women clean jewelry stands at Hon Bien Shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

Women clean jewelry at Hon Bien Shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

The tourism resumption, taking place over five months after a long hiatus due to COVID-19, has gratified not only shop operators but also street vendors, including Tam, a woman running a mobile ‘tao pho’ (soya bean curd) stall.

“Locals like me have lived off tourism and tourists for the past ten years, so the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to suffer,” said Tam. 

“We’re very happy in light of the tourism reopening,” the woman added as she hit the road with her ‘tao pho’ offer for the first time in months on Tuesday.

Women clean jewelry at Hon Bien Shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

Women clean jewelry at Hon Bien Shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

Quang Nam authorities plan to offer a 50-percent discount on ticket prices for visitors to the ancient town and traditional craft villages located in its satellite neighborhoods while organizing many attractive cultural-artistic activities, events, and festivals. 

Tourism businesses and accommodation establishments will also introduce many promotional packages to tourists.

International tourists can visit the town on package tours in selected areas and chosen tourist service establishments starting this month, according to a tourism restoration plan mapped out by the Quang Nam Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

The selected tourist sites, attractions, and tourist service providers include Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, Hoiana Resort Complex, TUI BLUE Nam Hoi Resort An Resort, and Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An.

Workers repair at a silk shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

Workers repair at a silk shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

Quang Nam has reported 1,370 local infections since the fourth coronavirus wave flared up in Vietnam on April 27.

Over 66 percent of the central province’s adult population have received the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine while nearly ten percent have been fully vaccinated, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.

Vietnam has found 939,463 infections since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit it early last year and 934,583 community transmissions in 62 out of its 63 provinces and cities since the fourth virus wave broke out.

More than 25.6 million people of the 98-million population in the Southeast Asian country have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus. 

The central government has relaxed pandemic control curbs over the past few weeks as transmissions have slowed down, due partly to larger vaccine coverage.

A street vendor pulls a cart on a street in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

A street vendor pulls a cart on a street in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

A worker sprays paint on a door at a silk shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

A worker sprays paint on a door at a silk shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

A woman cleans a jewelry display case at Hon Bien Shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

A woman cleans a jewelry display case at Hon Bien Shop in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, November 2, 2021. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

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