Leaders of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism almost gathered in a press meeting on the afternoon of March 15. The tourism industry is teary-eyed about the milestone of reopening tourism activities under new normal conditions. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has the authority to announce the opening plan.
Accordingly, international tourism activities (inbound and outbound) comply with regulations on immigration, health and related regulations of Vietnam and other countries and territories, via air or land , seaway, railway to ensure safety, in accordance with regulations on prevention and control of COVID-19 epidemic. The open-door policy applies to all types of tourists, especially all international tourist markets that meet the conditions on immigration and medical safety can come to Vietnam.
However, not as expected, the National Administration of Tourism only officially announced the opening date of March 15, and the specific and detailed plan had to wait… the Ministry of Health. The tourism industry offers a rather vivid diagram of the welcome plan, but for medical conditions alone, it is stated that “Medical regulations on entry are made according to the updated guidance of the Ministry of Health”. Update when, how, where? A series of questions for the tourism industry remain unanswered. It all depends on the opinion of the Ministry of Health. The specialized health agency is still as calm as ever, despite being asked by the Government to submit a revised proposal for international visitors before March 15.
Tourists are eager for the tourist season Photo: KY SON
“The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has been working hard for the past time to try to have the final solution to create maximum conditions for international visitors. Up to this time (the end of March 15), the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is still waiting for the latest guidance document from the Ministry of Health. Hopefully, at the earliest, the final plan will be implemented. The Ministry of Health has written to consult the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 prevention and control on conditions for entry people, including tourists. We think that this draft is consistent with the proposals and recommendations of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the past time. We are facing a lot of changes in the context and conditions of disease prevention and control. We think that the Ministry of Health will definitely consider promulgating more appropriate regulations,” said Nguyen Trung Khanh, Director General of the National Administration of Tourism.
Mr. Hoang Nhan Chinh, Head of the Secretariat of the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) said that this moment alone cannot be announced in detail, to satisfy information for international visitors who are interested in this destination. Conditions when entering Vietnam are very surprising and unusual. Because the opening milestone from March 15 has been approved by the Government for more than a month, but until now, there is still interference from the Ministry of Health.
“Foreign members of the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), repeatedly asked about the opening information, but we did not dare to answer officially, because we did not know where the official information was. how. Not only tourists, foreign experts also do not know the entry conditions. That’s a very bad thing,” Chinh said.
Also according to Mr. Chinh, Thailand announced 6 months in advance of the opening plan, posted the regulations on the website widely and regularly updated. Singapore announced 3 months in advance of the reopening plan. By doing so, the parties will not fall into a situation of surprise. Vietnamese tourism businesses, foreign businesses wishing to bring guests to Vietnam are completely passive, not knowing how to handle it. There are a number of delegations planning to buy a tour into Vietnam at this time and are forced to back off.
“We expect international and domestic guests to be treated the same, from the regulations on testing, handling, and treating COVID-19. The countries that have opened their doors have chosen to treat them like that, there is no discrimination. If Vietnam does not follow international practices, I am afraid that the goal of opening up to restore tourism is still far away,” Mr. Chinh stated.
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