|Travellers undergo immigration procedures at Lào Cai international border gate. — VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Khánh|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has proposed China resume outbound travel tours to Việt Nam to improve and recover tourism between the two countries.
The ministry confirmed on Thursday it had sent a diplomatic note to China on February 9 proposing travel agencies be allowed to organise outbound tours to Việt Nam.
According to the diplomatic note, tourism cooperation is a highlight in the bilateral collaboration between the two countries.
Chinese tourists made up the majority of foreign tourists entering Việt Nam before COVID-19 broke out, and many Vietnamese tourists also travelled north.
According to the General Statistics Office, 5.8 million visitors in 2019 to Việt Nam were Chinese, accounting for 30 per cent of international tourists.
After China scaled back its “zero-COVID” policy, many cooperation activities between the two countries gradually resumed.
China started allowing its travel agencies to organise outbound tours to 20 selected countries on February 6. While this list does not include Việt Nam, other Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are included.
Many tourism businesses in Việt Nam have expressed disappointment after three years of waiting, as China is one of the largest tourism markets.
Resuming tours to Việt Nam will create favourable conditions for both countries to resume and develop tourism.
The ministry also discussed tourism cooperation with the Chinese ambassador to Việt Nam, including resuming travel tours.
The ambassador shared that China highly values friendship between the two countries. The embassy has prepared to welcome Chinese tourists back to Việt Nam.
The International Cooperation Department is also actively working with China to put Việt Nam on the list of countries piloting group tourism since this country reopened the border on January 8.
The Department also expressed the expectation to travel of visitors and the tourism agencies.
Ngô Lan Phương, head of Kim Liên Travel, told Vietnam News Agency that they are ready to welcome back Chinese visitors.
Phương said even if the numbers don’t reach the same heights as in 2019, just half the number of Chinese tourists would be good for the travel agencies. — VNS