Many airlines of Vietnam and China will reopen air routes between the two countries, bringing Chinese travelers to Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, during the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.
“During the Tet holiday, lasting from January 18 to 26, there will be four flights from China to Vietnam and four others in the opposite direction," Le Thi Hong Minh, director of Cam Ranh International Terminal Joint Stock Company, which operates the airport of the same name in Cam Ranh City, Khanh Hoa Province, said on Sunday.
“The frequency of flights will depend on passengers’ demand and the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be 150-180 passengers on each flight.
“Vietnam’s budget airline Vietjet Air will be the first one to resume charter flights from its northern neighbor to Cam Ranh City after the Chinese government announced the reopening of its doors from January 8,” Minh added.
According to Vietjet Air’s plan, it will operate nine flights between Chinese cities and Vietnam from January 11 to 31.
Welcoming back Chinese tourists not worrying
Tran Minh Duc, chairman of the Khanh Hoa Travel Association, said with China’s relaxed policies, such as no restriction on the numbers of international flights and passengers, many Chinese people have planned to travel abroad.
“China is a familiar source market of Khanh Hoa’s tourism, so there will not be many obstacles in welcoming back tourists from this market," Duc said.
“However, many units specializing in serving Chinese guests have shut down over the past two years due to the pandemic. Therefore, enterprises should review and upgrade their services, while preparing human resources and vehicles."
He added that tourism firms should come up with new tourism products to attract Chinese visitors.
|Khanh Hoa will begin welcoming back Chinese tourists this quarter. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre|
In 2019, South Korean and Chinese tourists made up the majority of international visitors to Khanh Hoa and most of them chose low-cost tours.
However, travelers now prefer independent and family tours. Ecosystems for low-cost tours will no longer exist.
Local travel companies should create more high-quality activities instead of focusing on tours’ prices.
“Key foreign travelers at the beginning of 2023 may remain South Koreans. Although China reopened its borders in January, it will take more time to bring Chinese tourists to Vietnam," Duc assessed.
|Tourism enterprises in Khanh Hoa should prepare infrastructure facilities and services to serve Chinese tourists. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre|
Taking anti-COVID measures while welcoming back Chinese tourists
Ton That Toan, deputy director of the Khanh Hoa Center for Diseases Control, said the province had applied regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control for immigrants in line with the Ministry of Health’s directions.
In particular, it will not require foreign travelers to take COVID-19 tests and declare their health conditions before entering Vietnam, which will facilitate them.
However, the number of international tourists coming to Vietnam will increase sharply in the coming time, which will pose a high risk of a pandemic resurgence in the community.
“The Khanh Hoa Department of Health has asked for the General Department of Preventive Medicine’s directions on anti-COVID measures for immigrants, and professional instructions and support in the pandemic prevention and control," Toan said.
“The department has also got ready for the prevention of the pandemic, especially at Cam Ranh International Airport, and has drawn up plans to handle possible pandemic situations."
According to Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, director of the provincial Department of Tourism, Khanh Hoa has piloted a plan to welcome foreign travelers after the COVID-19 pandemic is kept at bay.
It is experienced in pandemic control and has a high vaccination rate, so the province is ready to welcome a large number of foreign travelers in 2023.
“The department has repeatedly reminded enterprises to strictly apply anti-epidemic measures. In addition, it has joined hands with other agencies to conduct Khanh Hoa tourism promotion programs in the Chinese market," Thanh said.