[VNExpress] Travel companies revealed tens of thousands of Russians have booked tours to Khanh Hoa for their winter holiday as Vietnam prepares to welcome back foreign visitors.
Khanh Hoa, home to famous beach resort towns Nha Trang and Cam Ranh, is one of five localities allowed to welcome fully immunized foreign tourists starting November along with Kien Giang, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Quang Ninh as part of the country’s roadmap to gradually resume international tourism.
A representative of Khanh Hoa-based travel company Anex Vietnam said it has worked with partners like Russia’s largest charter airline Azur Air and tour operator Anex Tour Russia to prepare to bring Russian tourists back to Khanh Hoa.
The anonymous representative said dozens of thousands of Russians have already booked tours to Khanh Hoa this winter through the company.
The agency is expected to welcome approximately 6,000 Russian tourists a month during the first three months of a trial program, with the figure forecast to increase to 12,000 per month later.
During the pilot phase from three to five months, the company would focus on tourists with a vaccine passport from Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Vladivostok, who are all required to book a tour package.
The tourists would arrive in Khanh Hoa on charter flights to stay at least seven nights at a designated resort on Long Beach in Cam Lam District, around 10 kilometers from Nha Trang. During this period, they would only be allowed to visit limited areas inside the resort with restricted movement.
After the seven-day period, if tourists show a negative test result for Covid, they will be granted permission to visit, eat, and shop at other locations in the tour program.
Anex Vietnam has signed reservation contracts for three-to-five-star rooms at Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa, Selectum Noa Resort Cam Ranh, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, The Anam Resort and Vinpearl Resort & Spa Long Beach to serve Russian visitors.
Le Van Nghia, director of Nhat Minh Tourism JSC, also affirmed that thousands of Russian tourists have booked tours to Khanh Hoa through the company and its partners based in Russia.
Nghia said his agency plans to cooperate with Russian carrier Siberia Airlines to organize six weekly charter flights for Russian tourists to stay at sequestered resorts on Long Beach in Cam Ranh from early December. They have all been fully vaccinated and are required to furnish a negative Covid result obtained within 72 hours before departure.
Representatives of Vietnamese travel companies said Russia exempts quarantine for tourists returning from Vietnam and that the country has been a favored destinations among Russians for many years.
Russians always have a long winter vacation, so they want to choose a destination in the tropics, with a mild climate and year-round sunshine like Vietnam. In addition to beaches in Nha Trang, Russian tourists are also interested in Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet and Da Nang.
Therefore, when the government agrees to reopen its door to foreign tourists, there will be no shortage of visitors, especially from the Russian market, travel agencies confirmed.
Khanh Hoa, famous for long, sandy beaches and high-end resorts, has basically brought the pandemic under control. Provincial authorities have sought government permission to allow fully vaccinated foreign tourists from November.
In 2019, the year before the onset of Covid, Khanh Hoa received over seven million tourists, half of them foreigners. Before the pandemic, Russia and China were the biggest feeder tourism markets of Khanh Hoa.
Vietnam closed its borders to foreign tourists and canceled all international flights in March last year due to Covid.