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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

HCMC expands tourism reopening plan with central provinces

By Minh Duy

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HCMC – The HCMC tourism sector has reopened more tour services and routes and is scheduled to offer tours to three central provinces — Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen, starting this month.

The city’s tourism industry is on its way to recovery after a long hiatus induced by the fourth wave of coronavirus infections. In September, the city just operated several road tours transporting frontline healthcare workers to the outlying districts of Can Gio and Cu Chi to pay tribute to them for coming to HCMC to help treat Covid patients. As of now, many more travel agencies have started offering tours within the city and those to Tay Ninh Province.

More tour services are also in the offing. Open-top double-decker bus services have resumed, the number of hotels resuming operations is rising, and waterway tours have also got back to normal.

Vo Anh Tai, vice general director of Saigontourist Group, said he and some other businessmen accompanied the HCMC officials on a business trip to Tay Ninh Province on October 12, followed by other working sessions with the authorities of the three central provinces—Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh—last week to negotiate the resumption of interprovincial tourism.

As a result, HCMC and Tay Ninh resumed tour services last week. Besides, tour programs linking HCMC with Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen and Binh Dinh are expected to launch this week. Further negotiations with other provinces and cities on the issue are scheduled to occur in the upcoming time.

However, the reopening pace depends on the Covid situation and the point of view of local leaders, Tai said, adding that localities would feel secure to reopen their doors to tourists only when the vaccination rates become higher and are even among localities.

Tran Doan The Duy, general director of the travel company Vietravel, also remained optimistic about the local tourism market after a short period of reopening. Vietravel so far has informed its customers about the resumption of tour programs. As the firm has just reoffered some travel products, he could not give specific evaluations on the demand, but said that the market had shown positive signs.

“We recently sold some tours to families and groups of friends. The tourism market could recover faster than expected. The demand for travel would soar after the pandemic, and issues that need to be solved are policies, consistency in the reopening plans among localities, and the connectivity with the aviation sector,” Duy said.

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