Foreign tourists visit Hội An Acient Town, Quảng Nam Province late last year, under a programme that welcomes international travellers back on a trial basis. — Photo from the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism
HÀ NỘI — A number Vietnamese airlines, travel companies and hotel businesses have proposed the Prime Minister announce the point of time for resuming international tourism in the country right in February.
The urgent petition was jointly signed by Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines, Vietravel Airlines, Hải Âu Aviation, along with major travel and hotel firms - Vietravel, Saigontourist, TMG, Sun Group, and BIM.
They said the impressive results in the largest-ever vaccination campaign have provided a particularly important basis for Việt Nam to accelerate economic recovery and reopen the aviation and tourism sectors to international friends.
The country has been piloting the hosting of international tourists in seven localities, but this pilot programme has served only 8,500 visitors over the last two months, they said, pointing to strict procedures and calling for regulations and policies to be swiftly aligned to the new context.
The firms cited opinions at the January 24 workshop between the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and representatives of other ministries, localities, and businesses as saying that if Việt Nam issues the message of “reopening” at this point of time, it will be a huge opportunity for the tourism sector to not only revive but also make a breakthrough compared to regional countries and considerably help smooth investment and trade flows between Việt Nam and other nations.
They proposed the PM announce the point of time for international tourism resumption in the country right in February, when all restrictions of movement into or out of Việt Nam are lifted, so as to give a strong boost and help localities as well as transport, accommodation and travel companies proactively make preparations though the complete reopening could be no sooner than March 31 or April 30.
Apart from the restoration of all unilateral and bilateral visa exemption and e-visa programmes, the businesses recommended the Government consider expanding the visa exemption to tourists from the key and strategic markets such as the entire Europe, Australia, and North America. They also appealed for extending the visa exemption duration from 14 days to 30 days to match the trend towards longer holidays. — VNS