Efforts to draw in international tourists
With an open entry policy, Vietnam has fully opened up the foreign tourism market since March 15. However, welcoming international tourists remains a challenge. Ms. Nguyen Thi Le Thanh - Director of the Tourism Department of Khanh Hoa Province claimed that:
- The provincial tourism industry intends to welcome 1.2 million tourists in 2022, including 40,000 international tourists. Right from the time of developing the plan for 2022, we have determined this is the phase of safe adaptation to the Covid-19 pandemic, Khanh Hoa tourism will mostly attract domestic tourists and gradually recover the international tourism market. In reality, the domestic tourism business has recovered strongly so far, indicating a dynamic summer tourism season. However, due to the complicated developments of the pandemic and the world's unpredictable situation, the international tourism market continues to face challenges.
- Can you please explain on the challenges of reviving the international tourist market?
- Unlike domestic tourism, international tourism is influenced not just by Vietnamese regulations, but also by policies in other countries and markets. For Khanh Hoa, it's China, Russia, and Korea, etc. As far as we are concerned, China is still following the Zero-Covid policy, which means it has not opened its doors to foreign tourists yet. While the Russian market was exploited effectively, the Russia-Ukraine conflict erupted, causing the ruble to depreciate, the Russian government ordered the suspension of international flights, forcing travel agents to temporarily halt their deliveries of Russian tourists to Khanh Hoa. Korea and Japan, for example, continue to impose harsh entry restrictions on Vietnamese tourists, making tourists from these countries afraid of traveling to Vietnam. Korea recently announced that beginning April 1, all tourists from Vietnam entering Korea was required to self-isolate for seven days, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or not; ticket sales on flights from Vietnam to Korea account for only 60% of the total number of seats available. These factors make the reviving of the international tourism market for Khanh Hoa tourism more challenging.
- What solutions does the Khanh Hoa tourism sector have in place to revive the international tourism market in the near future?
- Following the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's announcement of a plan to open the tourism industry, we requested tourism enterprises to interact with partners to inform them about open-door tourism and entry policies and regulations in Vietnam. Simultaneously, the tourism industry has been encouraging the use of digital technology to advertise and promote Nha Trang - Khanh Hoa tourism to worldwide markets, producing items to fit specific tastes of tourists following the Covid-19 outbreak... These intend to create tourist excitement, prepare to welcome international tourists as soon as countries open and loosen their import and export laws.
In terms of tourism promotion, Khanh Hoa tourism consistently focuses on preserving established markets while expanding into new ones. As a result, the tourism industry will continue to exploit new markets to diversify the source of tourists, in addition to the established markets such as China, Russia, Korea, and ASEAN. In 2022, the Department of Tourism will advise the Provincial People's Committee to organize the promotion in the Indian market as planned. In addition, the tourism industry continues to promote in certain international tourism markets according to a specific roadmap.
Vietnam Airlines has just announced that a direct route between Singapore and Cam Ranh would commence on April 15. From the beginning of July 2022, the airline plans to reopen the Incheon - Cam Ranh route. Airlines such as Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways and international airlines are intending to resume flights to Cam Ranh. When airlines reopen international routes, we hope that the activity of foreign tourism will improve in the near future.
- Thank you!