The Prime Minister has also assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and agencies to work with other countries on increasing rescue flights and opening commercial flights between Vietnam and other countries.
However, this doesn’t mean that international tourism markets will reopen soon because the pandemic has not been completely contained. Meanwhile, the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is still under preparation.
“Travel firms are waiting with eagerness, but the government still has not granted tourism visas. It is highly possible that in the immediate time, Vietnam would only grant entry visas to specialists and their relatives, because ensuring safety is the top priority,” said Cao Tri Dung, chair of Viet Nam TravelMart.
Other travel firms shared the same view, saying that though they are not sure about the possibility of reopening the market soon, the Prime Minister’s instructions on preparing for the resumption of air routes with other countries has brought hope.
According to Hoang Thi Phong Thu, head of Pegas Misr Travel Vietnam, the EU has opened to many countries since early July, while Russia has put Vietnam on the list of 13 countries it may resume air routes with.
A representative of a HCM City-based travel firm said it is still unclear when travel firms can receive foreign travelers, but the firm is making hectic preparations for ‘D-day’, when travelers return.
|The Prime Minister has agreed to resume air transportation between Vietnam and China, and has assigned relevant ministries to work with their Chinese counterparts on the frequency and conditions for passenger transport.
The bad news is that there is still no positive sign from the US and European markets and cruise ship travelers. Meanwhile, the good news is that travel firms can see potential from Russia and Northeast Asia.
Foreign travelers are keeping a close watch over Vietnam’s actions on border openings, air links and visa policies to prepare their business plans. Some tourism agency partners in Northeast Asia have committed to bring tourists soon after Vietnam allows entry of foreign travelers.
Thu of Pegas Misr Travel Vietnam said the partner of the firm, Pegas Touristik, which specialises in serving tourists on chartered flights, wants Vietnam to resume air routes for Russian tourists.
A local newspaper quoted a source as saying that Vietnam could welcome 6-8 million foreign travelers this year if Covid-19 could be contained soon and international tourism could be resumed in Q3.