China to resume pilot group tours to Viet Nam from mid-March
China has decided to resume pilot outbound group tours to Viet Nam from March 15, according to a Chinese diplomat.
Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Viet Nam Peng Shituan made the announcement at a meeting with representatives of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Addressing at the meeting, Peng Shituan affirmed that tourism cooperation between the two nations in the pre-COVID-19 period brought win-win benefits, making substantive contributions to nurturing the two nations' friendship.
Viet Nam will be among prioritized nations for direct flights and Vietnamese passengers will no longer be required to undergo a PCR test within 48 hours before boarding, he said.
China expects to enhance close coordination with Viet Nam to ensure legitimate rights for both sides' visitors, added the diplomat.
China was Viet Nam's largest tourist source market before COVID-19. In 2019, Viet Nam welcomed 5.8 million Chinese visitors who accounted for nearly a third of international arrivals.
Viet Nam could receive 3 to 4.5 million visitors from China this year, equivalent to 50 percent-80 percent of the pre-pandemic levels, after the latter reopened its borders following a three-year strict COVID-19 lockdown, HSBC said in its latest report.
There were 1.8 million foreign visitors arriving in Viet Nam in the first two months of 2023, representing 36.6 times higher than the first two months of 2022, but barely 60 percent of the figure of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
During January-February, the Southeast Asian country welcomed 70,904 visitors from China.