Vietnamese outbound tourists thrilled 'to get out' again
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A group of Vietnamese tourists pose for a photo at Safari desert in Dubai during their trip in February, 2022. Photo courtesy of Pan American Travel
Many Vietnamese tourists have expressed their joy at traveling abroad again after almost two years; industry executives expect a robust revival for the outbound market.
HCMC resident Nghe Hue Nghi, 40, could not hold back her excitement at visiting Expo 2020 in Dubai, one of the world’s largest events.
As soon as travel firms resumed outbound tours to Dubai, she was one of the first tourists to secure a seat to one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. She booked a tour with HCMC-based Pan American Travel.
She got a negative PCR test result 72 hours before the tour’s departure on February 25.
During the journey, the group visited the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the 7-star Sail Burj Al Arab hotel, the gold market, the old town of Abu Dhabi and enjoyed coffee and gold-plated cakes.
"Dubai has unique architecture, world-famous buildings, wide and clean roads, and most important, an open tourism policy," Nghi said.
Hanoi resident Nhu Hoa, 31, was also thrilled as she touched down in Dubai on February 26.
"I didn’t believe I could travel abroad gain. Before leaving, I was nervous and worried that the pandemic situation would become more complicated and affect my trip," she said.
Ngo Van Thoa, director of the Pan American Travel Company, said the procedures for the first group of tourists to Dubai on February 25 were more convenient than he imagined. After landing, it only took the group 40 minutes to clear immigration and start the tour.
Dubai is a foreign tourist destination that many travel companies are focusing on when resuming outbound tours post Covid because of its open tourism policy and short flight routes, Thoa said.
Pan American Travel is organizing two weekly tours from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Dubai on Friday and Saturday, with each tour lasting six to eight days.
Thoa said the outbound tourism market was showing signs of recovery after nearly two years as Vietnam resumes regular commercial flights and many countries ease travel restrictions for Vietnamese tourists.
The company is launching tours to Australia, Canada, Cuba, Mexico and the U.S., she said.
Tran Sy Son, CEO of Hanoi-based PYS Travel with whom Hoa booked a tour to Dubai, said he expected robust growth in the outbound market.
His company took a group of 20 tourists to Dubai, which is hosting Expo 2020, one of the world’s largest tourism and cultural events.
However, Son also said that many Vietnamese tourists who want to go abroad were afraid that they would have to self-quarantine for three days upon returning to Vietnam. Limited frequency of regular flights has also made tour prices more expensive than pre-pandemic times, he added.
Son and Thoa said were optimistic that tourism would take off again when the Vietnamese government lifts all quarantine and testing requirements on fully reopening inbound and outbound tourism starting March 15.