Ho Chi Minh City is ready to welcome international tourists back

The Government has agreed to let Ho Chi Minh City pilot the return of international tourists, along with regular international commercial flights starting to be exploited which are positive signals for the tourism industry.

The largest tourist center in the country – Ho Chi Minh City, has just been officially approved by the Government to pilot the return of international tourists, along with 6 other localities, namely Binh Dinh, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Nam, and Quang Ninh. Ninh, Khanh Hoa and Phu Quoc. Talking to a reporter from Nguoi Lao Dong Newspaper, many businesses expressed that this is positive information for the tourism industry in Ho Chi Minh City. They will promote immediately so that they can soon welcome the first international delegations.

Market reactivation signal

The Government Office has just sent a document to relevant ministries, departments and agencies and People’s Committees of provinces and cities about the subjects participating in the pilot program to welcome international tourists to Vietnam.

Accordingly, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh agreed to assign relevant ministries and branches and the People’s Committees of provinces and cities including Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Quang Ninh and Binh Dinh to base themselves on the decision, functions, tasks and authority continue to be proactive, pilot implementation of welcoming international visitors to Vietnam to ensure safety and efficiency.

After more than a month of petitions, Ho Chi Minh City is the next locality along with Binh Dinh to be piloted to welcome international visitors, after Kien Giang, Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa, Da Nang and Quang Ninh have been agreed and implemented before.

TP HCM sẵn sàng đón du khách quốc tế trở lại - Ảnh 1.

A tourism promotion activity in Ho Chi Minh City within the framework of a cultural tour program for cultural diplomats, foreign press and reporters residing in Vietnam, held in December 2021. Photo: Binh An

Mr. Tran The Dung, General Director of Fiditour – Vietluxtour Travel Company, said that Ho Chi Minh City’s official pilot program to welcome international visitors is a positive signal for the tourism industry. Because at this time, many international regular routes have also been reopened.

Phan Xuan Anh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Viet Tours Company, also said that Ho Chi Minh City’s pilot program to welcome international tourists back after nearly 2 years of “freezing” because of the Covid-19 epidemic is a good sign. Immediately, his company will notify international partners to include in the program, the tour operation plan, and offer products to visitors. Because his company specializes in receiving international passengers, in addition to tour partners, it is also necessary to get approval from the seaport for ships to dock in Ho Chi Minh City.

“As an enterprise that exploits the international passenger segment, we have been prepared from the beginning of 2021 to welcome guests back to Ho Chi Minh City, not now. If customers fly commercially, our service would response right away” – Mr. Nguyen Tran Hoang Phuong, General Director of Golden Smile Travel Company, said.

Promote early not to miss the opportunity

At the seminar “Tourism Risk Management – Recovery Strategy in the New Period” organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism and Hoa Sen University on January 5, Mr. Nguyen Quoc Ky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vietravel Holdings supposed that it is necessary to determine the opening of the economy, including the opening of traffic and transportation, especially aviation and tourism. The opening of international flight is considered slow, so it is necessary to accelerate further to contribute to the recovery of the economy. Forecasts of international aviation organizations show that up to 70%-80% of tourists asked and answered that they will travel by air, so the delay in opening flights will inhibit the smokeless industry recover soon.

From mid-November 2021, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has written a proposal to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to welcome international visitors to the city. Ms. Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, said that through reviewing all conditions, with the medical background system, the response experience of businesses, the community’s awareness and especially the rate of vaccination is very high…, the city may be ready to welcome back international tourists. Recently, the tourism industry in the area has built new tourism products and completed existing products.

“A series of new tourism products were also announced in the program of Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Week – The city I love, to serve people in the city, exploit the domestic market and prepare to welcome international visitors,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa.

The signal is positive but not too optimistic, many businesses say that there are still obstacles in reopening to welcome international tourists.

Mr. Nguyen Huu Y Yen, General Director of Saigontourist Travel Service Company, said that the company has prepared the necessary conditions for products, personnel… for the return of international tourists. However, what businesses are interested in right now is the specific guidance of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism about tourists coming to Vietnam to stay in hotels and resorts for the first 3 days and then move to other localities besides the 6 pilot localities? At the same time, currently guests with Vietnamese passports are allowed to enter normally, and guests with other “vaccine passports” need to approve personnel and apply for a specific visa?

“The enterprise has informed its overseas partners to be ready to welcome guests back after having specific instructions on epidemic prevention and health regulations for international tourists on entry” – Mr. Nguyen Huu Y Yen said.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

From a market perspective, one of the difficulties according to enterprises is that this time has passed half the peak season to serve international tourists. Currently, the tourism demand of overseas Vietnamese and Southeast Asian tourists is high. While many neighboring countries are also affected by the Covid-19 epidemic and have just reopened their economies.

The European and American customer segments have adapted to Covid-19 but we cannot expect to sell tours in the next 1-2 months, but promoting and advertsing a few months or even 6 months to 1 year. This is a customer segment with a specific route, a clear promotion plan…

“In the immediate period, we will focus on working with partners to promote and introduce tourism products to prepare for the international tourist season in 2022. We will monitor regular flights, international flights between Vietnam and other countries so that when the frequency is higher, the flight route will open more and especially the flight schedule must be longer to help build a long-term tour,” said Mr. Tran The Dung.


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