Hong Kong eyes travel resumption with Phu Quoc Island

By Hoang Phong   August 5, 2021 | 06:00 am PT
Hong Kong eyes travel resumption with Phu Quoc Island
Resorts lie along Kem beach on Phu Quoc Island in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Anh.
Hong Kong authorities have expressed their interest in piloting a travel bubble with Phu Quoc Island to help international tourism soon recover.

At a meeting with Vietnamese Consul General Pham Binh Dam in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Jason Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong Travel Industry Council, said the resort island of Phu Quoc in the southern province of Kien Giang is an ideal place to deploy the travel bubble if the two sides reach an agreement on isolation exemption and specific implementation mechanisms.

With no end in sight to the pandemic, border closures are causing businesses and economies to collapse while failing to keep countries absolutely safe, Dam said as quoted by World&Vietnam Report news site.

"Therefore, border reopening would be necessary but should be piloted on a small scale before being expanded."

Dam said the Consulate General of Vietnam in Hong Kong would closely coordinate with the council and relevant agencies of both sides to speed up the travel bubble pilot.

Wong said Vietnam is an increasingly attractive destination for people in Hong Kong. The council will work with the Vietnamese side to promote the tourism markets of both sides in the near future.

Phu Quoc, a famous tourist hotspot in Vietnam, is planning to trial a six-month vaccine passport program starting October, welcoming 40,000 foreign tourists to the island.

Some of Vietnam's major tourism markets with high Covid-19 vaccine coverage that could be considered for international reopening include mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the U.S., Germany, Russia, the U.K. and France.

Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March last year, and allows in only certain categories of visitors with Covid-19 quarantine requirements.

Hong Kong currently lists Vietnam among high-risk Covid areas from which visitors need to undergo 21-day hotel quarantine on arrival.

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