Vietnamese tourists visit Dubai to go ride on a camel in the desert. Photo sggp.org.vn
HCM CITY — While inbound tourism is taking time to find its feet after Việt Nam fully reopened its orders, outbound tourism has been bustling, industry insiders say.
Ngô Văn Thoa, director of Pan American Travel, said as of March 10, over 50 countries have scrapped PCR testing requirements on arrival for fully vaccinated tourists. These include Croatia, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
On March 1, the European Union (EU) lifted its non-essential travel ban and allowed entry to all fully vaccinated travellers from outside the bloc, including Việt Nam.
Meanwhile, there is great demand for traveling abroad among Vietnamese tourists after a long time of being stuck in the country because of the pandemic.
According to travel firms, the number of bookings on outbound tours to favoured markets include the US, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Europe has risen.
Dubai, Thailand and Maldives are the destinations most preferred by Vietnamese tourists because of simple visa procedures, quarantine exemptions and relaxed COVID-testing rules.
Saigontourist says demand for outbound tours has picked up rapidly.
The company is offering package tours to destinations in Europe, Middle East, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, as well to the US, Maldives and Dubai-Abu Dhabi.
A Dubai-Abu Dhabi four-day tour costs from VNĐ32 million (US$1,400) per person while a trip to Thailand starts at VNĐ14 million($614) per person. Five-day tours to the US and Maldives cost VNĐ90 million ($3,900) and VNĐ66 million ($2,900) per person respectively.
Given the still complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saigonourist is padding its packages with gifts like international travel insurance worth VNĐ2.4 billion ($105,400), COVID-19 insurance worth VNĐ240 million ($10,549) and COVID-19 testing costs.
Other tour operators say they are receiving many enquiries a day for prices and availability of tours to different countries and territories.
Vietravel has organised HCM City-Dubai tours for groups of hundreds of tourists and a trip to India for a group of pilgrims from Hà Nội.
The company will take four groups of tourists to Dubai, three to Thailand, one to Maldives and another to Singapore this month. It will also organise a tour to India by charter flight next month.
Nguyễn Nguyệt Vân Khanh, marketing deputy director of Vietravel, said that the company is recovering its foreign markets gradually. He said he also expects inbound tourism to flourish this summer. Vietravel has prepared around 30 tours to five countries and is offering seats on a charter flight to Thailand on the occasion of Thailand’s Songkran festival and Việt Nam’s Reunification Day (30 April).
Tourist businesses will focus on exploiting markets with relaxation of travel restrictions, easy access rules for medical requirements, simple entry regulations.
Thailand, Cambodia and Maldives are set to allow tourists to enter the nations without the need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 tests, contributing to the growth of outbound tourism. — VNS