Together with the national tourism industry, the tourism sector of Kien Giang province is carrying out a roadmap for flexible, safe and COVID-adaptive tourism.
Restoring and attracting domestic tourists
Restoring and attracting domestic tourists
In response to Official Dispatch 259-CV/TU dated October 7, 2021 of the Provincial Party Committee on socio-economic recovery measures in Kien Giang province, the Provincial People's Committee issued Plan 201/KH-UBND dated October 21, 2021 on domestic tourist restoration and attraction, while ensuring the dual goal of economic development and COVID-19 prevention. Kien Giang province will gradually reopen the market and entice tourists back to the province.
Kien Giang planned to welcome back domestic tourists in November 2021. Four districts and cities - Rach Gia, Phu Quoc, Ha Tien and Kien Hai - are selected to be tourist destinations. The domestic tourism recovery roadmap is divided into two phases. In Phase 1 (from November 1 to 30, 2021), the tourism sector will pilot reception of domestic and external visitors who come from low-risk areas; focus on tourists in Kien Giang and neighboring provinces. Tourist destinations are expected to be entertainment spots, tourist attractions and green zones such as Rach Gia, Phu Quoc, Ha Tien and Kien Hai.
In Phase 2 (from December 1 to December 31, 2021), Kien Giang will expand to new markets, based on new developments, targeting traditional markets with direct flights to Phu Quoc such as Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Lam Dong, Da Nang and Hai Phong. It will concentrate on Vietnamese and foreign tourists. During this period, the province will also expand the scope of destinations which basically contain the pandemic, including Rach Gia, Hon Dat, Ha Tien, Kien Luong, Phu Quoc, Kien Hai and U Minh Thuong.
To ensure safety against the pandemic, the tourism sector of Kien Giang province will apply policies of the Provincial People's Committee on restoring passenger transport to carry visitors. Specifically, road travelers must have certificates of full vaccination against COVID-19 or be recovered from COVID-19 infection within six months by the time of arrival in Kien Giang.
For island-visiting tourists and air visitors must meet the same conditions as road travelers in addition to SARS-CoV-2 tests using the RT-PCR method or quick test on negative antigens within 72 hours before coming to Kien Giang for sightseeing. Tourists from high-risk pandemic areas or medically quarantined areas (lockdowns) must have a negative PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours from the date of receipt of the test result. Foreigners living and working in Vietnam must meet the same criteria as domestic tourists when they come to visit Kien Giang province.
All visitors must have a commitment to strictly abiding by regulations on pandemic prevention and control when visiting and traveling in Kien Giang. They must comply with the anti-pandemic measures, provide medical declarations and follow local pandemic prevention and control instructions. During their time in Kien Giang, they must adhere to testing requirements as guided by local authorities and the Center for COVID-19 Prevention and Control. In all circumstances, safety and pandemic prevention is the top priority of the Kien Giang tourism industry.
In addition to attracting more tourists, the tourism industry has planned to engage hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, shopping malls, transport firms, resorts, tourist attractions and other service businesses in the province to review, consolidate and refresh products and services. It will encourage tourism businesses to research and develop new products and services; boost online promotion with major press agencies and social media to introduce discounts to domestic tourists.
Moreover, Kien Giang also considers organizing programs to introduce and connect local tourist destinations with Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Central Highlands, Northwest and Mekong Delta, using appropriate forms of domestic tourism.
Phu Quoc pilots 'vaccine passports' for international visitors
Remarking on advantages for Kien Giang tourism reopening, Nguyen Duy Linh Thao, Director of Kien Giang Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Center, said, there are currently four flight routes to Kien Giang: Rach Gia - Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc - Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi - Phu Quoc and Hanoi - Rach Gia. Passengers on these flights only need to meet any of three conditions (full vaccination, hospital discharge certificate on COVID-19 treatment within six months or negative PCR test for COVID-19). Relevant bodies are working with each other to advise the Provincial People's Committee to propose more flights to/from Phu Quoc from/to Thanh Hoa, Da Nang, Vinh, Binh Dinh and Lam Dong. With many flights in service, more tourists are expected to arrive in Kien Giang.
In response to directions of the Government, the Kien Giang Provincial People’s Committee issued Decision 200/KH-UBND dated October 21, 2021 on a pilot plan for receiving international tourists with "vaccine passports". The deployment will last six months, divided into two phases, right after Phu Quoc people are fully vaccinated.
Accordingly, from November 20, 2021, Kien Giang will receive charter flights to Phu Quoc Island to test the process of picking up and serving tourists and assessing and drawing experience from this. From December 20, 2022, the province will officially follow the roadmap. In Phase 1 (from December 20, 2021 to March 20, 2022), the province will pilot receiving 3,000-5,000 tourists a month on charter flights. In Phase 2 (from March 20, 2022 to June 20, 2022), after assessing Phase 1 results and getting good results, Kien Giang will propose expanding the scope to 5,000 to 10,000 visitors a month to the Government.
Selected international tourists come from countries and territories with low-risk pandemic prevention and control such as Europe, the Middle East, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America and Australia. They must have full COVID-19 vaccination certificates or have recovered from COVID-19 and be recognized by a competent authority in Vietnam. At the same time, they must have a negative PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours before departure (displayed in English).
Ms. Nguyen Duy Linh Thao said that, in addition to researching and promoting domestic and international tourism markets, the center will support tourism businesses in surveying, advertising and promoting tourism in potential markets and new markets. It will mobilize, encourage and facilitate the business community to respond to and participate in tourism programs, plans and events.
Implementing Plan 200/KH-UBND of the Provincial People's Committee, the Kien Giang Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Center has built a pilot promotion program to receive international visitors with so-called “vaccine passports” to Phu Quoc. The highlight of the program is the slogan “Live Fully”, meaning that Phu Quoc is ready to welcome international visitors and give them the most complete experiences. The program period is from October 2021 to December 31, 2021, focusing on international tourists in low-risk potential markets such as Europe, the Middle East, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America and Australia.
By Cong Luan, Vietnam Business Forum