Vietnam's cave kingdom to welcome back vaccinated tourists in October

By Hoang Tao   September 30, 2021 | 03:00 am PT
Vietnam's cave kingdom to welcome back vaccinated tourists in October
Tourists trek in Quang Binh Province. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Tao
Quang Binh Province, dubbed Vietnam's kingdom of caves, will welcome back vaccinated tourists from Oct. 1 as part of its tourism recovery plan.

Visitors who have been fully vaccinated can enjoy tours in the central province, while those who have received one Covid vaccine dose will need to furnish a negative Covid certificate obtained via RT-PCR or rapid testing.

Vaccinated visitors would be allowed to join package tours with pandemic prevention measures in place and certain limitations to avoid the risk of infection.

Tourism staff in frequent contact with visitors must be fully vaccinated while those with less contact with tourists need to get at least one vaccine shot. All staff will be tested for Covid once a week.

Nguyen Van Ky, chairman of the provincial tourism association, proposed provincial authorities prioritize vaccination for those working in the tourism industry and their relatives to speed up the reopening plan.

Quang Binh, home to UNESCO heritage site Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, boasts many limestone caves including Son Doong, the world’s largest.

Quang Binh welcomed 550,000 visitors in the first nine months of 2021, down 66 percent year-on-year.

Many travel operators have offered big discounts to attract domestic tourists in an effort to survive amid the new Covid-19 outbreak and create income for local guides and porters.

Authorities in Quang Binh earlier decided entry tickets to many of its famous caves including Son Doong would be cut by half from next year to stimulate tourism.

During the ongoing wave, the province has recorded over 1,600 cases.

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