Hạ Long Bay is one of the top destinations chosen by many foreign tourists. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Quang Quyết
HÀ NỘI — As the country gets ready to welcome international tourists, travel agencies are hard at work preparing for their arrival.
Almost two years since borders closed, Việt Nam's tourism sector is ready to fully open, with no restrictions on flight frequency or destinations.
But tour companies face stiff competition from other destinations in the region who are well prepared and may have the advantage.
Gloria Bùi, Director of Asia Exotica Vietnam told Việt Nam News her company is rapidly recruiting staff and expanding offices, preparing new tourism products as well as re-establishing contact with partners.
"The most important thing is to train staff and send product information to customers," she said.
She also said that Asia Exotica Vietnam decided to reopen soon and invest in people from the beginning, although many local inbound travel companies are still very hesitant.
"I think it is completely reasonable to fully open the doors to tourism and lift restrictions related to the pandemic," she added.
"We prioritise investment to expand from products and services to marketing to adapt to the new situation. Also, we are willing to hire more staff than needed to make sure the company is ready for the upcoming orders. This also creates jobs and during this time and we can focus on training the employees carefully,”
Vietravel has also prepared plans to welcome international tourists in 2022. It has completed product sets in accordance with the requirements of the pilot programme to welcome international tourists and the demand of customers from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, America and Europe. The company is strengthening marketing campaigns to partners and customers in these markets.
“In the new normal situation, we have to be more flexible and innovative,” the company’s representative said, adding how they are focusing on increasing safety by applying safety standards and procedures suitable for each destination, and strengthening search, survey and launch of new product sets.
Gloria Bùi said that right after the announcement of the full opening, there were a lot of pre-booked tours for this summer and autumn.
Currently, the top destinations chosen by Asia Exotica Vietnam’s customers are Hạ Long, Hội An, and Hà Nội, followed by Huế, HCM City and Phú Quốc.
“There are a lot of early orders, for April and May, when Việt Nam has just reopened. We are very excited about this and looking forward to welcoming tourists back soon,” she said.
Oxalis Adventure, the only company in Việt Nam licenced to conduct an expedition tour to Sơn Đoòng cave, Quảng Bình Province said that Sơn Đoòng tours in 2022 have been fully booked.
From mid-January 2022, the tour company has continued to open the reservation system for Sơn Đoòng tours departing in 2023. Currently, the tour has been booked for nearly 15 per cent, of which the majority are foreigners.
Other tours of Oxalis such as Tú Làn, Hang Va, Hang Én, Hang Tiên have reached 80 per cent of the booking rate until May 2022.
In the first two months of 2022, international visitors to Việt Nam were estimated at 49,200 arrivals, up 71.7 per cent over the same period last year. Among them, visitors arriving by air accounted for 87.8 per cent of international arrivals to Việt Nam.
Currently, the entire tourism sector is preparing necessary conditions to fully open tourism activities from March 15.
This year, the tourism sector has set a target of serving 65 million visitors, including five million foreigners, and earning VNĐ440 trillion (nearly $19.3 billion) in revenue. — VNS