Travel Bubbles: a Trend of the 'New Normal'

Many tourism agencies in Ha Long, Quang Binh, Khanh Hoa and Con Dao are designing 'bubble tours' following new safety rules.
October 16, 2021 | 09:32

After localities reopened for tourism, the first “bubble” tours have been selling such as Can Gio and Cu Chi tours in Ho Chi Minh city and Ha Long cruises in Quang Ninh.

Recently, the intra-province “bubble” tours are also being operated by some tourism agencies.

Travel Bubbles: a Trend of the 'New Normal'
Tu Lan cave. Photo: Oxalis

On Oct. 12, Quang Binh Provincial People's Committee gave written consent to the Department of Tourism, and Oxalis company to organize the program "Discover Quang Binh in the new normal" with bubble tours.

The pilot phase is from Oct. 12 to Jun. 30, 2022. Accordingly, travellers are picked up from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Quang Binh by charter flight or sleeper bus.

The company operates 5 days, 4 nights and 7 days and 6 nights trips to visit Hang Tien, Tu Lan caves and stay at Chay Lap Farmstay or other homestays in the area.

The tour participants are people living in Vietnam and from localities that do not apply Directive 16. In addition, visitors must be fully vaccinated or have a negative PCR test result within 72 hours.

People who recently recovered from COVID-19 need to show the documentation. Visitors must comply with epidemic prevention measures to ensure safety. The staff in the tours must be fully vaccinated and be tested periodically.

In Khanh Hoa, Crystal Bay Intourist company submitted a proposal to the People's Committee of Khanh Hoa province, the People's Committee of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the General Department of Tourism and The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, which proposes to pick up passengers via charter flights from Oct. 16 to Nov. 16.

Passengers must have a certificate of full vaccination or have received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and a negative test result.

Travel Bubbles: a Trend of the 'New Normal'
Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort. Photo: Cam Ranh Riviera

The tour package 4 days 3 nights includes round trip air tickets from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang city; staying in a 5-star Deluxe Ocean view room and free activities at Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa, and 3 meals per day.

In addition, visitors are picked up from the airport to Nha Trang City, visiting Long Son Pagoda, Ponaga Tower, Yangbay ecological area and a tour on Nha Trang Bay on Horizon cruise.

In Ha Long, Lux Group expects to launch a cruise tour for intra-province tourists. Visitors from Hanoi can choose a 2- to 4-day cruise tour on Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island and visit Ba Trai Dao Beach and Viet Hai Village.

Tourists are picked up and taken directly from their homes to the cruise ship non-stop by a limousine. Ba Ria-Vung Tau will welcome the first tourists back on a charter flight to Con Dao on Oct, 15-16 and tours on the road to Xuyen Moc district.

Guests will stay in four designated resorts and tourist areas. Many tourists already booked the tour to Six Senses Con Dao to experience local activities for 7 nights.

Travel Bubbles: a Trend of the 'New Normal'
A limousine used in the bubble tour. Photo: Heritage Cruise

Bubble tours are inevitable and considered as the only solution in the initial stage of tourism recovery, despite the inconsistent policies of localities in receiving tourists and operating costs including charter flights, periodic testing for employees and visitors.

Nguyen Chau A, director of Oxalis, said that after a long term stagnation, this would be the first step for local authorities and businesses to be more confident in receiving tourists, as well as visitors getting used to travelling again.

He said that the company had built a service network including transportation, accommodation, restaurants, and fully vaccinated employees, so it is ready to operate tour package.

In addition, Quang Binh tourism in recent years focus on nature including caves, mountains, rivers and streams, which is in line with the tourism trend after the Covid-19 pandemic. Quang Binh hopes to be one of the leading localities opening for tourists.

Ngo Huu Truong, general director of Crystal Bay Intourist Company, said about the bubble tour that “it is necessary to start it immediately".

Throughout the world, many countries have successfully implemented the safe tourism model such as Thailand with the "Phuket Sandbox" or Turkey receiving 18.9 million visitors in the first nine months of 2021.

"We expect this reopening will both contribute to the economic recovery, creating jobs for workers in the tourism industry, and at the same time quenching the travellers’ thirst after a long time staying at home," said Truong.

The company will welcome guests on charter flights from Oct. 16 as soon as the proposal is approved.

Vu The Binh, vice chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association, said that was the time to restart tourism safety with bubble tours. In October, the Vietnam Tourism Association launched a program to recover domestic tourism nationwide, aiming to "living with Covid-19".

"We expect that localities and businesses can operate the first tours in the green area immediately this month. Based on the practical experience in the implementation, we will adjust the programs to adapt to the new normal," Binh said.

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Source: VnExpress
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