Thua Thien-Hue Province, in central Vietnam, is preparing to welcome foreign tourists with COVID-19 vaccination certificates, often called ‘vaccine passports,’ in December, in a tourism recovery plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan was introduced at a meeting held by the province’s administration on Thursday day focusing on restoring and stimulating tourism operations while continuing the COVID-19 fighting, the Thua Thien-Hue Information Portal reported.
From now until the end of November, the province will first focus on attracting domestic tourists back to its beauty spots, subject to strict epidemic prevention measures, as a preparation for welcoming foreign travelers with full COVID-19 vaccination in December.
The province aims to lure fully vaccinated travelers from countries with effective COVID-19 control in Europe, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America, and Oceania.
The reopening of tourism to foreigners after nearly two years of suspension will be marked by the visit of a South Korean delegation that will arrive in Hue for an investment promotion conference held at the Laguna Lang Co Resort in Phu Loc District in December, the provincial Department of Tourism said.
The welcoming of the delegation will not only be meaningful in promoting investment, but also a chance for the local tourism sector to prove its capability in serving international guests in ‘new normal’ conditions, which the government uses to refer to its strategy of living safely with coronavirus, said the department.
The resort now meets all the safety requirements for visitors as all its staff have been given full COVID-19 vaccination and all tourist facilities have applied effective measures for epidemic prevention, the agency commented.
Currently, the province is working on a plan to transport the South Korean delegation from the Phu Bai International Airport to the resort and vice versa.
Based on the experience obtained from the welcoming of the South Korean guests, the department will deploy other plans to serve foreign visitors at other attractions in the province.
Due to the COVID-19 impacts, the total tourist arrivals to Hue, the capital city of the province, during the first nine months of 2021 reached only 633,315, down 56 percent form a year earlier.
Of these arrivals, 18,796 were by foreigners, a decrease of nearly 96 percent year-on-year, the department reported.
Revenue from tourism in the period was estimated at VND1,097 billion (US$48.27 million), down nearly 69 percent over the same period last year, the agency said.
Since the pandemic erupted in Vietnam in early 2020, the province has documented 940 COVID-19 cases, including 11 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health's data.
Nationwide, 881,522 COVID-19 cases, including 803,326 recoveries and 21,543 deaths, have been recorded in 62 out of the country’s 63 cities and provinces, except Cao Bang.