Vietnamese carriers prepare 30 flights in November to fetch foreign tourists

 Vietnamese carriers prepare 30 flights in November to fetch foreign tourists

South Korean tourists in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province, February 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc

Vietnamese carriers will operate nearly 30 flights this month to carry foreign tourists to Kien Giang, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa, a senior aviation official said Friday.

Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, shared this information at a seminar on reopening international tourism.

Without mentioning specific embarkation points, he said national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines would operate one flight to Da Nang City on November 17 and budget carrier Vietjet Air will operate one to Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang Province on November 20.

Another 24 additional flights will carry foreign tourists to the three localities, mainly from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, he said.

On Thursday, Khanh Hoa Province, home to famous tourist hotspots Nha Trang and Cam Ranh, welcomed two flights from South Korea and Japan with a total of 429 passengers. The passengers would stay at the Vinpearl Resort & Spa Long Beach on the Cam Ranh Peninsula.

"These are encouraging signs and can be considered a good start for the international tourism reopening pilot plan," Cuong said.

Bui Quoc Thai, deputy director of the Kien Giang’s Department of Tourism, said Phu Quoc was scheduled to welcome the first flight from South Korea's Incheon airport at noon on November 20.

Earlier, budget carrier Vietjet Air had sought approval to fly 250 South Korean tourists to Phu Quoc Island on November 20 under the vaccine passport program. All tourists would be taken to the Vinpearl Resort and Spa Phu Quoc for a three-day tour package.

Khanh Hoa, Phu Quoc and Da Nang are three of five localities that are allowed to welcome fully vaccinated foreign tourists from November onwards. The two other localities are the provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ninh.

Foreign tourists need to furnish certificates showing they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid; and test negative for the novel coronavirus within 72 hours before departure.

They are also required to book a package tour with one of designated travel agencies and furnish medical or travel insurance including coverage for Covid-19 treatment worth at least $50,000.

The visitors have to install IGOVN and PC-Covid health declaration applications on their smartphones while in Vietnam.

Vietnam closed its doors to foreign tourists and grounded international flights in March 2020, and has since allowed entry only to Vietnamese repatriates and foreign experts and highly-skilled workers.

The country recorded a 79 percent year-on-year decline in the number of foreign visitors in 2020. It welcomed just 3.83 million foreign visitors last year against a record 18 million in 2019.

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