Travel agencies create new normal tourist packages to revive tourism

As the country transitions from a “zero-Covid” strategy to living safely with the pandemic and most localities ease Covid restrictions and reopen tourist activities, several travel companies have looked for ways to bring back the tourists by launching tour packages that meet new normal conditions.

A requirement common to all tours is that each tourist must be fully vaccinated with the second dose given at least 14 days before arrival or provide a certificate showing that they have contracted and recovered from Covid. They must also present a negative Covid certificate using the PCR method within 72 hours before departure.

On Tuesday, authorities in Quang Binh province, Vietnam’s ‘Cave Kingdom’, approved major tour operator Oxalis Adventure to trial a tour package program that welcomes fully vaccinated domestic tourists by June next year. .

As expected, tourists from HCMC and Hanoi would arrive in Quang Binh via charter flights or buses to join the tour package which allows them to stay with isolated homestays and explore pristine caves like the Tien Grottoes. and Tu Lan for five days and four nights.

Travel agency Crystal Bay Intourist in the central province of Khanh Hoa, home to the resorts of Nha Trang and Cam Ranh, had to get approval from provincial authorities to pilot a month-long tour program from of October 16.

The four-day, three-night package tour will allow tourists from Hanoi and HCMC to arrive in Khanh Hoa on charter flights and stay at Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa. They will be allowed to visit some tourist destinations in Nha Trang like Long Son Pagoda, Ponagar Tower of Cham Temple, Yangbay Ecotourism Site and Nha Trang Bay Cruise.

Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa in Khanh Hoa province. Photo courtesy of the station

In Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province, which plans to reopen inter-provincial tourism from November 1, Lux Group is preparing a cruise that will allow Hanoi tourists to explore the famous Ha Long, Bai Tu Long Bay, Lan Ha and Cat Ba Island in two to four days.

Six Senses Con Dao, the only five-star resort in the Con Dao archipelago in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, has been allowed to welcome domestic tourists again on charter flights from October 15 to join a seven-night package tour.

The package allows visitors to enjoy long beaches and participate in ecotourism activities inside the resort.

high hopes

Travel agencies say package tours with pandemic restrictions may be seen as the only solution in the early stages of tourism recovery, given several challenges including inconsistent quarantine policies between localities and operational costs. expensive, including airline tickets for charter flights and regular testing for staff.

Nguyen Chau A, director of Oxalis, said all his staff were fully vaccinated and the company was ready to welcome tourists again after a long period.

Oxalis tour programs consist mainly of exploring caves, pristine forests and natural landscapes with little contact with large crowds. Therefore, he expected Quang Binh to be one of the first places to successfully reopen domestic tourism.

Ngo Huu Truong, general manager of Crystal Bay Intourist, said his company was awaiting approval from provincial authorities to start welcoming the first visitors from the end of the week.

“I hope the launch of these tour packages will help people feel safe to travel again after a long period of social distancing and give the tourism industry a boost.

Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March 2020. Foreign arrivals fell from 18 million in 2019, when tourism receipts stood at $31 billion, nearly 12% of the country’s gross domestic product. country, to 3.8 million last year.