Though China reopened its borders Sunday after nearly three years of Covid lockdowns, it has not yet allowed tourists in either direction and has yet to issue visas.
However, thousands of Chinese citizens living in Vietnam returned home across border gates in northern provinces.
Authorities in Dongxing City in China’s Guangdong Province said the Chinese government is now prioritizing returning Chinese nationals and people coming for business purposes.
“The government will gradually allow entry for tourism purposes but no date has been set.”
Though it has yet to resume visa issuance for Vietnamese tourists, the aviation and tourism industries in Vietnam are prepared for the return of Chinese tourists.
In Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ha Long, which used to heavily depend on Chinese visitors, tourism businesses have upgraded their infrastructure and staff training.
Vietnamese carriers plan to resume services to China later this month.
China was Vietnam’s biggest source of tourists prior to the pandemic, sending nearly 5.8 million people in 2019.
Vietnam last year only received 3.6 million foreign tourists, or 70% of the target it had set.
It has set a target of eight million foreign tourists for this year, with China’s reopening kindling hope.
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