After taking a long break to “convalesce” due to COVID-19, Vietnam tourism has returned and firstly served domestic tourists on the occasion of the Reunification Day and International Labor Day holiday this year. Although not all tourism sectors and destinations across the country are as crowded as every year, this can be considered as an optimistic “warm-up” step of our country’s tourism after a long period of the interruptions caused by the pandemic.
How well Vietnam is controlling the Covid-19 epidemic?
While many countries around the world are still being in lockdown in the efforts to struggle against the spread of COVID-19, Vietnam removed its social distance restrictions in the community on 22nd April 2020. Accordingly, businesses including non-essential ones are allowed to open, however, they must follow the preventive measures such as wearing a face mask, washing hands, keeping a safe distance of 1 meter, etc.
During the period of social isolation, many means of transportation were reduced to the minimum of operation, even stopped working such as public transportations, meanwhile, airline companies were allowed to run one return flight per day per route. The restriction on the number of flights as well as seat distancing and passenger number limitation is necessary to limit the movement of people during the “golden times” in the “war” against the pandemic. However, after the social isolation was abolished, Airlines have been permitted to carry the full board with the maximum capacity. Moreover, buses are also allowed to operate at full frequency.
By applying the timely measures, especially quarantine and classification of people suspected of virus infection, Vietnam has basically controlled the COVID-19 pandemic without any new cases in the community in 22 consecutive days and the social distancing regulations have been removed. More importantly, Vietnam hasn’t recorded any dead cases due to COVID-19. Thanks to these positive signals, the Vietnamese government has decided to re-operated the national economy including tourism which has suffered the heaviest losses.
How tourism has been reopened after being frozen for a long time?
There has been a gradual growth in the number of domestic tourists since many famous attractions were reopened after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Hue, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, the beautiful island of Phu Quoc even Halong Bay- the UNESCO World Heritage Site has been opening to welcome visitors.
While waiting for international flight routes re-operated soon, the tourism market in Vietnam at the present has been mainly focusing on domestic tourists. To encourage domestic tourism, there are plenty of promotional programs that many travel companies, airlines, hotels are launching.
- Many 5-star cruises in Halong Bay are issuing thousands of vouchers for the 1-night cruise itinerary with a significant reduction of 30-60% in the price compared to the period before the epidemic. After buying these vouchers, you can use it at any time from now till the end of 2020.
- Vinpearl, one of the leading brands in the hospitality industry in Vietnam, has encouraged people by the big promotion of “Buy 2, Pay 1” in which if you book 2 nights stay at any 5-star accommodation of Vinpearl, you only need to pay for 1 night. Moreover, JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay is currently discounting 39% of the room rate compared to the published price, along with many preferential services such as airport transfer, cuisine, and spa.
- Airlines, along with many hotels and luxury resorts, has offered various “hot deals” with the biggest discount ever to “pull” people back to tourism.
Besides promotions, many provinces have also developed new tourism products. For example, the tourism authority of Ho Chi Minh City cooperating with local travel agencies have launched the tour called “Following the Sai Gon Special Force Footprint“. Joining the tour, visitors will be given a great opportunity to experience themselves as the liberation special force members operating in Sai Gon during the Vietnam War. They will be driven on the old cars and motorcycles that used to belong to the real Sai Gon Special Force, hide in the tunnels, and eat at the places where special force members used to gather. Particularly, most destinations within the tour have been equipped with modern technology combined with practical experiences.
How to travel safely during the Covid-19?
That Vietnam has kicked off the tourism industry after the period of social distancing illustrates Vietnam is confidently able to ensure the safety of tourists when traveling in the S-shaped country. Right after the government allowed citizens in Vietnam to travel, many people have chosen holidays for themselves, even there was a heavy traffic jam in Da Lat because of tourists. However, to have the most complete vacation, visitors should follow these preventive measures:
- Choose safe destinations: You should update the information about the COVID-19 situation of the destination you are planning to go to.
- Must-bring items: don’t forget to bring items that will ensure you can stay away from this dangerous virus, which are masks, antiseptic water with at least 60% alcohol to wash your hands frequently, personal items such as a blanket to cover when you travel on public transport such as airplanes, taxis, buses …
- During the holiday, it is unavoidable for you to meet a lot of people. Therefore, wearing a mask regularly, especially in crowded places, can protect yourself from spreading the virus or to limit hand-to-mouth contact.
- In addition, regular hand washing with sanitizer or soap is extremely important. If you cannot clean your hands immediately, at least do not touch your nose and mouth.
- Improve the immune system: Eat more nutritious food, fruits, yogurt, etc., along with doing exercises, can keep you stay away from the virus.
Besides restarting domestic tourism, the government has also proposed to restructure international tourism by considering prior policies to create favorable conditions for tourists traveling to Vietnam, including visa exemptions or visa fee reductions, increasing flights, promotional programs, and stimulus packages of course. It can be said that Vietnam is one of the very first nations preparing to welcome international tourists when the Covid-19 epidemic is under control worldwide.