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Quang Ninh gears up to resume tourism post-pandemic

by VNS/VNA08 November 2021 Last updated at 10:33 AM

Ha Long Bay is a famous UNESCO World Heritage site featuring thousands of beautiful limestone karsts. (Photo: VNA)
Ha Long Bay is a famous UNESCO World Heritage site featuring thousands of beautiful limestone karsts. (Photo: VNA)

Northern Quang Ninh province is one of the localities that have well-controlled the COVID-19 pandemic, with almost no cases of infection in the past 3 months.

Utilising many solutions to catch up with the “ new normal ”, it is gradually recovering its tourism industry by making domestic travellers a focus. In order for the tourism industry to regain its growth momentum, Quang Ninh is using many methods.

Visitors are entitled to free tickets to visit Ha Long Bay, the Yen Tu tourism site and Quang Ninh Museum from now until the end of 2021, as well as subsidised bus fares from Van Don airport to Doc Do, Uong Bi City, and vice versa. Local tourism and travel businesses are preparing the necessary conditions to resume operations as soon as possible and developing programmes to promote safe tourism.

According to the Director of the provincial Tourism Department Pham Ngoc Thuy, 50 events are going to be held across the province to stimulate travel demand from now to the end of 2021. The highlight will be events to welcome visitors to “Yen Tu - An Autumn Journey to Buddha Land” festival, Ha Long Bay Heritage Marathon and Winter Carnival 2021.

In addition, the province will also organise events for tourism at the district, town and city level and announce stimulus products to increase tourism. Thuy said the provincial People’s Committee had a plan for tourism recovery in the fourth quarter.

It has also completed a provisional set of criteria for COVID-19 safety evaluation based on a safe travel model devised to minimise pandemic-related risks. The Yen Tu Monuments and Landscapes Complex in northeastern Quang Ninh is one of the tourist destinations currently chosen by many domestic tourists. In addition to strictly implementing safety measures to prevent the pandemic such as wearing masks, disinfecting, and making medical declarations, the use of closed-loop services in Yen Tu is being looked at to ensure safety.

For cable car services, visitors are encouraged to use separate cabins in order to limit contact and ensure regulations on distance. According to Le Trong Thanh, Deputy General Director of Tung Lam Development Joint Stock Company, this is the right time for travel to restart with the involvement of relevant parties. “We will implement many promotional programmes and discounts for visitors under the conditions of strictly complying with regulations on pandemic prevention and control,” he said.

“For example, in September, the Legacy Yen Tu Resort offered room rates from 2.9 million VND per person on Fridays, afternoon tea and other free services. In the area of Yen Tu Village they will apply a price combo for two guests or more for only 499,000 VND per person. In addition, the company will continue to deploy many tourism products to attract visitors to Yen Tu, including free early morning yoga lessons, bell meditation, relaxation meditation and Nuong Village festival night.”

At Ha Long City, the cultural, economic and political centre of Quang Ninh, many entertainment and resort complexes such as Vinpearl Ha Long, FLC Ha Long and Sun World Halong Complex, have readied infrastructure, personnel, and plans on pandemic safety to welcome visitors back.

Tourist destinations are prioritized to welcome visitors who have been fully vaccinated, as well as offer closed-loop sightseeing services and stays on the bay with small groups of guests. All cruise ships are fully equipped with masks, antiseptic, and facilities for medical declarations by scanning QR codes for visitors at attractions near Ha Long Bay.

They are also encouraging night tours on the bay that use all-in-one services and do not cause pandemic risks. Along with that, the province has also organised a large-scale vaccination campaign in all localities. As a result, more than 1 million doses of vaccine have been given, reaching over 85.47 percent of the target, making Quang Ninh become one of the earliest localities to complete the first shot in the country.

Recovery plan Tourism is the industry hardest hit by the pandemic, but also one of the fastest to recover. However, in order for tourism to fully recover, one of the prerequisites is to ensure a safe environment. Recently, Van Don International Airport has obtained Airport Health Accreditation from the Airports Council International.

This is an important foundation to open up new opportunities for Quang Ninh tourism to get back on track. Bamboo Airways resumed its service between Van Don airport and Ho Chi Minh City on October 27 with three flights a week.

Vietjet resumed flights on the route on October 31 with one flight every day. Vietnam Airlines is re-opening flights on the route on December 1 with three flights per week. Welcoming guests from outside the province will be done with strict regulations, specific solutions and careful steps.

To reactivate tourism in the “new normal”, the authorities of Quang Ninh and neighbouring Hai Phòng City held a meeting in late September to discuss cooperation in tourism development.

The two sides agreed to keep working together to boost tourism, build a mechanism for managing passenger and tourist transport vehicles on Ha Long and Lan Ha bays, and complete a dossier seeking the UNESCO recognition of Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago as a world natural heritage site. They are expected to sign a set of regulations on tourism activities with pandemic safety taken into account from October, to reopen the industry.

Quang Ninh identified safety and risk control as the prerequisite for the local administration, travel businesses and residents to succeed in implementing the tourism recovery plan. As a safe destination, the province is spreading the message “Quang Ninh Tourism: Safe - Friendly - Alluring” with the aim of welcoming about 2 million tourists and earning 4 - 4.5 trillion VND (175 - 197 million USD) from tourism services in the last quarter of 2021./.

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