Hotels and resorts on Phú Quốc Island are prepared to welcome international visitors. Photo courtesy of vietnamnet.vn
HCM CITY — To better prepare for quality tourism services, Phú Quốc Island will push its reopening date back to late November.
Based on the vaccination situation on Phú Quốc and new epidemic developments, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that late November or early December would be the official opening time for Phú Quốc.
Vice chairman of Kiên Giang Province People’s Committee Nguyễn Lưu Trung affirmed that the zoning and tracing of potential cases has been carried out in a timely manner. Phú Quốc is ready to start its tourism pilot programme as previously planned.
Trung said that new cases have posed challenges to the locality and that it was crucial to make some adjustments to the current plan to ensure visitors’ safety.
“What should be done when a European tourist is infected with COVID-19 in Việt Nam? Will he or she be offered treatment according to the regulations of the Ministry of Health? And who will be responsible for the payment,” Nguyễn Ngọc Toản, director of Images Travel Company, was quoted as saying by online news site vietnamnet.vn.
While Thailand has welcomed international tourists by commercial flights, Việt Nam will initially use charter flights.
The director of Hanoitourist Travel Agency, Phùng Quang Thắng, said he was concerned whether isolation rules would be applied to selected individual, groups or the entire plane in case of infections.
A clear, detailed plan and strong coordination between authorities is important to carry out the pilot programme with safety, travel agencies said. Tourists will be hesitant to travel if there are changes in the process of using services.
Dương Mai Lan, director of Ascend Travel, said the worst possible scenarios must be taken into account to build a timely response plan for tourists. Tourists need to be informed in advance of all situations in order to avoid confusion.
Phú Quốc has been preparing to host international tourists with a detailed welcome plan, communication plan, and training plan for staff and service providers to offer the best travel experiences.
In addition to listed attractions, international tourists will be able to visit amusement parks of VinGroup, SunGroup and the southern islands of An Thới. They will stay in separate zones with specific time slots.
Currently, 19 accommodation establishments with more than 7,800 rooms, five travel agencies and seven entertainment areas have been selected for the pilot programme. It is expected that there will be three main routes from Phú Quốc Airport to accommodation areas.
Experts stressed the importance of vaccine coverage among locals prior to the reopening of Phú Quốc.
“The destination must be safe for tourists,” chairman of Phú Quốc City People’s Committee Huỳnh Quang Hưng said at a conference on September 24.
He said the Ministry of Health has recently allocated 300,000 vaccine doses to Kiên Giang Province, including Phú Quốc.
Phú Quốc has about 160,000 people, 35 per cent of whom have had the first dose of vaccine and 7 per cent two doses. More than 100,000 locals aged 18 and over, including 3,500 older people with underlying conditions, still need the first dose.
In addition to vaccine coverage, it is crucial to welcome international tourists within a closed and controlled process.
The pilot programme in Phú Quốc is expected to determine the next stage of tourism recovery in Việt Nam. VNS