Ministry plans to reopen destinations to vaccinated visitors

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Phu Quoc Island in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has been selected as a pilot for a 6-month program on receiving foreign travelers with vaccine passports, starting in October. The country’s tourism industry expects to expand the program in other popular tourist destinations, such as Da Lat, Nha Trang, Hoi An and Ha Long.
Ministry plans to reopen destinations to vaccinated visitors ảnh 1 From the Hon Thom cable car, visitors can see the beauty of the entire island. (Photo: SGGP)

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has urgently build a careful pilot plan on welcoming foreign visitors to Phu Quoc with stricter Covid-19 prevention and control measures, said Minister Nguyen Van Hung.

The program will be only applied for international tourists who take a package tour provided by travel agents.

Accordingly, travelers are required to be inoculated with two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, provide vaccination certificate or certificate showing Covid-19 recovery. The RT-PCR test (by RT-PCR/RT-LAMP method) must be performed no earlier than 72 hours before departure, recognized and certified in English by the national authority.

Tourists must get travel health insurance before visiting. Children under 12 years of age are permitted to be accompanied by parents or a protector who have been fully vaccinated.

Travel businesses have to meet criteria of receiving and managing groups of tourists, complying with tax regulations and other regulations in the financial sector, providing good customer services under safety measures. Companies’ employees have to be fully vaccinated and take training courses on Covid-19 prevention and control measures.

The Ministry of Health will allocate vaccines to Phu Quoc for injecting its entire population and take responsibility for granting vaccination certificate and collecting samples of international tourists for Covid-19 testing.

The island is expected to greet around 3,000- 5,000 visitors per month in the first three months of the program and 5,000-10,000 tourists per month in the last months.

According to Chairman of the People’s Committee of Phu Quoc City Huynh Quang Hung, the island has currently 25,000 hotel rooms, including 15,000 five-star rooms and numerous entertainment facilities. Around 35 percent of the people over 18 were vaccinated against the coronavirus. The city needs some 300,000 additional doses of vaccine for mass vaccination.

In the first phase, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will coordinate with Kien Giang Province to select some large-scale tourist attractions and resorts that will be distinctly separated to ensure travelers' health and safety.

General Director of Vietnam Luxury Tour Joint Stock Company (Vietluxtour) under Fiditour Joint Stock Company (Fiditour), one of the leading tour operators in the country, Tran The Dung said that 100 percent of the company's employees have been vaccinated. The travel firm has also planned to serve for domestic holiday-makers having the “Covid Green Card” that will be provided to fully vaccinated people or recovered Covid-19 patients.

Phu Quoc has many top-rated beach resorts, amusement facilities, entertainment and resort complexes, such as JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc, Aquatopia Water Park, Hon Thom Cable Car that attract domestic and foreign visitors who want to enjoy a long vacation, added General Director of Ngoi Sao Bien Sai Gon (Saigon Sea Star) Joint Stock Company Huynh Van Son.

Vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Kien Giang Province, Nguyen Luu Trung said that the province has promptly coordinated with ministries and competent departments to reopen to vaccinated international travelers.

The local authorities, businesses and people in the island highly expect that Phu Quoc will be reopened soon to draw international visitors.