Da Nang has received its first foreign travelers as the country fully reopened international tourism on March 15 following two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flight SQ172 of Singapore Airlines touched down at Da Nang International Airport at 11:05 am on Sunday, bringing nearly 160 passengers to the city, marking the revitalization of the local tourism from the pandemic.
The flight also resumed the operation of the Singapore - Da Nang regular route with one flight per day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings and on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday afternoons.
Among the foreign visitors on the flight was Ben, from Spain, who said in excitement that he was visiting Da Nang for the first time.
|Two African travelers are seen at Da Nang International Airport in Da Nang City, Vietnam, March 27, 2022. Photo: Tan Luc / Tuoi Tre|
Ben will stay in the city for three days before visiting nearby Hue City, during his seven-day trip in Vietnam, the man said, adding that he once traveled to Hoi An Ancient Town in the central province of Quang Nam.
He commented that Vietnam's reopening of regular international flights on February 15 has made it easy for foreigners like him to explore the Southeast Asian country.
“Da Nang has set a target that it will next year restore all routes it once operated in 2019,” said Tran Phuoc Son, deputy chairman of the municipal People's Committee.
In June, Da Nang will try to successfully organize the Asian Route Development Forum 2022, the most prestigious aviation event in the Asia-Pacific region, to improve connections with more airports and airlines worldwide, Son added.
|This image shows Ben, a tourist from Spain, arriving in Da Nang City, Vietnam for the first time on March 27, 2022. Photo: Tan Luc / Tuoi Tre|
Also on Sunday, another flight, VZ960 of Thai Vietjet, a subsidiary of Vietnamese budget airline Vietjet Air, arrived in Da Nang with around 150 passengers from Bangkok, Thailand.
The Da Nang - Bangkok route has been resumed at a frequency of three fights per week, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, which will increase depending on market demand.
In 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak, the total number of visitors to Da Nang reached 8.6 million, including around 3.5 million international travelers, fetching a total revenue of VND30,973 billion (US$1.35 billion), Da Nang Online reported.
The city had 35 international routes with a frequency of 496 flights per week and 10 domestic routes with a frequency of 662 flights per week that year.
Vietnam had closed its borders since March 2020 before restoring multiple international air routes from January on a pilot program aimed at reviving the tourist industry.
Since February 15, the country has removed all restrictions on international air passenger transport, and the full reopening of tourism came a month later.
As of Sunday, 9,011,473 COVID-19 cases, with 5,351,978 recoveries and 42,306 fatalities, had been documented nationwide, the Ministry of Heath reported.