Attending the conference, on the MOCST’s side, there were the presence of Mr. Hoang Dao Cuong, Deputy Minister; Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT); Mr. Ha Van Sieu, VNAT’s Vice Chairman; leaders of departments and units of VNAT and MOCST. On the side of Quang Ninh Province, there were the participation of Mr. Nguyen Tuong Van, Chairman of Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee and leaders of local departments; along with representatives of ministries, branches, provinces and municipalities, tourism management departments, tourism associations, tourism experts, economists, corporations, travel businesses, hotels, transportation, press agencies, television and media, etc…

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Mr. Hoang Dao Cuong, MOCST’s Deputy Minister emphasised that the conference is a meaningful event in response to the policy of reopening tourism activities under new normal from 15th March 2022 according to the spirit “Adapting safely, flexibly and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic effectively” of the Government.

As today’s conference is important to discuss the preparation of the whole tourism industry, each locality and business; the coordination and cooperation between ministries, branches, localities and businesses to resume tourism activities in an effective way in the new normal conditions, so that Vietnam’s tourism enters a new stage of recovery and growth.

Mr. Cuong also asked the delegates to pay attention to sharing, exchanging, discussing and giving specific and practical initiatives, ideas and measures, effectively solving related issues in order to quickly reopen tourism, and accelerate tourism recovery under the new normal.

Create favourable conditions and policies for reopening tourism

Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, VNAT’s Chairman affirmed that the opening of tourism from 15th March 2022 is an important milestone for Vietnam’s tourism industry, a great policy of the Government on opening up for international exchanges and trade after a long time affected by the pandemic. The reopening not only restores the economy, but also affirms that Vietnam is a safe and friendly destination; contributing to enhancing the position of Vietnam’s tourism in the context that tourism in other countries around the world is also recovering.

Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, VNAT’s Chairman speaking at the conference (Photo: TITC)

Presenting the Guidance on reopening tourism under the new normal, Mr. Khanh stated that from 15th March 2022, resuming fully international and domestic tourism activities via air, land, rail, and sea routes, applied for international visitors to Vietnam (inbound), outbound visitors and domestic visitors.

At the same time, the conditions and regulations on immigration and health for international tourists have been loosen. Visa exemption for citizens of 13 countries has been restored, along with the restoration of the entry and exit policies for foreigners and Vietnamese residing overseas as before the application of restrictive measures to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding health declaration procedures, international visitors to Vietnam (inbound) are only required to present a proof of negative result test before entry. For travellers entering via land, rail and sea routes, entrants are required to undergo a SARS-CoV-2 test at the border gate before entry, if there is not any proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. Children under 2 years old are not required to be tested for SARS-CoV-2; having not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or having never been infected with SARS-CoV-2 before, are allowed to enter and participate in activities outside the accommodation with their parents and relatives.

For outbound visitors: Comply with regulations on immigration, health and related regulations of Vietnam and other countries and territories to visit. For domestic tourism activities, implementing Resolution 128/NQ-CP of the Government; simultaneously, implementing the Program to stimulate demands and resume domestic tourism activities nationwide.

Determination of restarting tourism, taking advantage of opportunities to improve the position and competitiveness of Vietnam tourism

Affirming the decision to open the tourism from 15th March is in the right time and right mind, localities and businesses are all in one mind to pay attention to preparing the best conditions to be ready to restart and attract tourists.

Mr. Nguyen Tuong Van, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province speaking at the conference (Photo: TITC)

Mr. Nguyen Tuong Van, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province indicated that Quang Ninh Province fully converges the conditions, potentials and advantages associated with general economic development; especially tourism development. In the past 2 years, with the implementation of effective pandemic prevention and control while continuously actively developing a comprehensive socio-economic system, Quang Ninh province has paid great attention to investment in tourism to recover effectively; Have a clear mindset that this is an urgent period, and at the same time an opportunity for a tourism activity renovation. Quang Ninh Tourism Industry has focused on tourism association; promulgating the Programme on opening, recovering and surely attracting tourists; developing policies to support tourism stimulus; supporting businesses to restore tourism activities; organising training and retraining the tourism workforce… All aim is that by 2022, Quang Ninh tourism will welcome over 10 million visitor arrivals, of which international visitors will reach 1.5 million visitor arrivals; and total tourism receipts reached about VND21,000 billion.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Binh, Deputy Director of Da Nang Department of Tourism shared about the process of overcoming difficulties of Da Nang tourism and the plan to prepare to resume tourism activities in the near future. At the same time, to prepare well for the reopening of tourism, Da Nang will closely follow plan No. 829 of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to implement pandemic prevention, product development and tourism promotion. He added, on 27th March, Da Nang will welcome the first international flights from Singapore and Bangkok.

The delegates at the discussion session (Photo: TITC) 

Ms. Tran Nguyen, Sun Group’s Head of Sales said that during the past time, the group has invested and prepared for the restoration of operations. Particularly for Quang Ninh province, Sun Group has invested in a synchronous service ecosystem from international airports, international shipping ports to resorts, premium entertainment areas, ready to attract and serve visitors.

As the pioneer airline to welcome the first international tourist group from Singapore to Vietnam after the opening day of 15th March, Ms. Pham Thi Nguyet, Acting Head of Marketing and Sales of Vietnam Airlines, indicated that airlines act as bridges connecting localities in the country, and connecting Vietnam with the world. In order to develop tourism sustainably, airlines need to invest in expanding their flight route network and increasing the frequency of flights to boost tourism demand. Vietnam Airlines invests with a long-term vision in restoring tourism and aviation, including restoring the entire domestic route network with a 40% higher number of flights compared to 2019. Regarding international flights, from the winter flight schedule in 2022, the airline will restore all international routes as before the pandemic.

Overview of the conference (Photo: TITC)

As a confirmation of the return of the tourism industry, Ms. Nguyen Thi Le Huong – Deputy General Director of Vietravel said that over the past time, Vietravel has continuously strengthened cooperation with localities such as Ho Chi Minh City, the Northwest provinces, Khanh Hoa, the central regions, Quang Ninh, etc. to restart tourism activities, develop new products. Mr. Huong proposed MOCST and VNAT to orient and instruct localities, units and businesses of the tourism industry implementing media campaign with a uniform message nationally and internationally in the upcoming time. Additionally, she also proposed to keep making policies to support tourism human resources – an important factor for the recovery of the tourism industry.

Mr. Ha Van Sieu, VNAT’s Vice Chairman speaking at the conference (Photo: TITC)

At the conference, many participants shared the view that this is an important time to not only recover tourism but also an opportunity to improve the position and competitiveness of Vietnam’s tourism industry. In which, the issues of concern to the delegates are to continue to have policies to facilitate travel for tourists, to extend the length of stay for visa-exempt persons from 15 days to 30 days, expanding the object of visa exemption, etc. Continue to develop new diversified products and importantly, reach a new level with higher competitive ability.

The delegates pressing the button to officially launch the reopening of tourism activities ” Live fully in Vietnam” nationwide (Photo: TITC)

Also, at the conference, Mr. Hoang Dao Cuong, MOCST’s Deputy Minister gave an official speech to launch the reopening of tourism activities ” Live fully in Vietnam” nationwide.

In the framework of the conference, a comprehensive cooperation programme agreement was signed for the period 2022 – 2025 between the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province and Vietnam Airlines; The signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement to stimulate demand and develop the tourism market among the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province, Sun Group and Vietnam Airlines took place.