|The first South Korean tourists arriving on Phú Quốc Island on Saturday received a warm welcome from Vietnamese authorities and Vietjet Airline. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt|
HÀ NỘI — A group of 202 South Korean tourists have arrived safely in Phú Quốc, Kiên Giang Province, becoming the first to visit the resort island after two years of stringent border closures.
They are also the first international tourist group from the South Korean market to travel to Việt Nam under the "vaccine passport" programme as Việt Nam transitions into flexible adaptation with COVID-19 and gradually opens its borders. They will enjoy a 4-day 3-night stay at Vinpearl Phú Quốc complex, which features five-star sea-view villas, golf course, theme parks, safari, casino, among others.
During their stay, they will be tested two times for COVID-19, upon arriving and after leaving the island.
They received a warm welcome from the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, VietjetAir, as well as Kiên Giang Province authorities after touching down at Phú Quốc International Airport on Saturday.
|'Water salute' for the ViejetAir aircraft that brought the group of South Korean tourists to Phú Quốc Island, marking the return of international tourism. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt|
Kim Chang Ho, one of the tourists arriving on Saturday, said he loved travelling to Việt Nam and after receiving two shots of COVID-19 vaccine and being informed of Việt Nam's COVID-19 measures, he felt totally at ease and reassured about safety here.
He believed he will certainly have an enjoyable, full experience and comfortable stay in Phú Quốc.
Nguyễn Trùng Khánh, Chairman of Việt Nam's tourism administration, said the event marks an important milestone in tourism restart efforts "Live Fully in Việt Nam" and a new step forward in the opening-up and socio-economic development in the 'new normal'.
The welcoming of international tourists was conducted with proper prevention and control measures but in a way that still guarantees the quality of services for visitors.
Khánh urged tourism and aviation businesses continue to work relevant markets to attract tourists to the country in the new period, adding that the press agencies and media should continue to support and accompany the tourism industry in its efforts to recover and develop.
Đinh Việt Phương, Deputy General-Director of Vietjet Aviation JSC, said the airline's resumption of international flights after two years underscored the Government's resolution to open the border and revive international tourism.
The Government's Resolution 128 on provisional regulations on safe, flexible adaptation to and effective control of COVID-19 issued in early October has helped created favourable conditions for the tourism and air aviation industries, and this first flight to Phú Quốc is a promising sign for the two industries returning full-force, Phương noted.
Phương said Vietjet will continue to bring hundreds of tourists from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (China), etc. to Phú Quốc and other destinations in Việt Nam, as the demands for travel in Việt Nam is "very significant."
Speaking at the welcome ceremony, Vice Chairman of Kiên Giang People's Committee Nguyễn Lưu Trung said the preparations for resumption of international tourism to Kiên Giang always received the maximum support from tourism authorities to help ensure the best conditions for safe, meticulous reception of tourists.
This first batch of international tourists to Phú Quốc will help promote the image, tourism and investment potential of the island far and wide, and become a 'driving force' behind the recovery of domestic tourism in particular and the economy in general, Trung remarked, adding that Phú Quốc expects to receive 400,000 tourists, both domestic and foreign, by the year's end.
Almost all residents and workers above 18 years old on the island have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and Phú Quốc is administering vaccines for children aged 12-17.
A part of the island's medical centre has been converted and upgraded to be a 25-bed treatment facility for moderate and severe COVID-19 patients. — VNS
|South Korean tourists leaving the Phú Quốc International Airport. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đăng|