Several provinces and cities where the COVID-19 pandemic is basically under control have allowed the reopening of local tourist sites and some services to welcome visitors but also requested that these places strictly comply with anti-pandemic rules.
At the end of autumn, Ha Giang province is blushed in pinkish white carpets of buckwheat flowers (Photo: Cong Dat)
Since September 10, the Lao Cai provincial authorities have relaxed social distancing measures and allowed the reopening of some business activities and tourism services. In Lao Cai City, eateries and restaurants along the An Duong Vuong food street began to bustle again from morning until 9pm.
Head of Culture and Information Department of Sa Pa Town Hoang Thi Vuong said that the number of tourists to Sa Pa has increased slightly as it has welcomed around 3,000 visitors following the relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.
Sa Pa local authorities have ordered the strict implementation of COVID-19 prevention and control regulations, particularly the Ministry of Health’s 5K message of khau trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings), and khai bao y te (health declarations), in order to keep the green area of the national tourist area safe.
COVID-19 response teams have also asked to increase inspection of the implementation of pandemic prevention and control measures in order to detect and handle any violations.
The last four months of the year is the best time to visit Vietnam’s northern mountainous province. Since early September, rice has been turning yellow on terraced fields in the districts of Hoang Su Phi and Xin Man, then will come the blooming season of buckwheat flowers on Dong Van Karst Plateau.
Although Ha Giang Province has reopened tourist sites, food and beverage establishments, restaurants, hotels, the number of tourist arrivals is still modest.
In September, terraced fields cast a golden glow on valleys and mountains in Lao Cai province. (Photo: NDO/Quoc Hong)
Trieu Menh Quyen, owner of Hoang Su Phi Bungalow in Nam Hong Village, Thong Nguyen Commune, Hoang Su Phi District, said that Nam Hong Village has 38 households, with more than a dozen of them running homestays for visitors.
According to Quyen, every year during the ripening rice season, all the homestays are fully booked throughout the week. However, they only receive visitors inside of the province at weekends and still consider bookings from those from outside the province due to the complicated developments of COVID-19.
Ha Giang Province has developed a tourism plan in the context of the complicated developments of COVID-19 to realise its goal of attracting about one million tourists in the last four months of this year.
Under the plan, accommodation establishments and tourist areas are required to evaluate their safety status against COVID-19, following the guidance of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism; display their QR code at the reception so that tourists can check the safety status; and continue keeping a close watch on the COVID-19 situation while strictly implementing pandemic prevention measures.
Director of the Ha Giang Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Hong Hai said that the department has worked with the Department of Health and tourism associations of several COVID-19-free areas to design specific regulations on ensuring the pandemic prevention while creating conditions for tourism reopening.
In the last months of the year, Ha Giang will offer 50% discounts on entrance fees at local hotspots, and historical and cultural sites, and cultural works. Entry fee reductions will also be applied for locals and tourists travelling in groups.
Communication campaigns on YouTube and Facebook as well as online tours on digital platforms have also been held to promote Ha Giang tourism virtually.