A Vietnam official has welcomed the country’s inclusion on a list of 40 nations that from Wednesday (March 15) will be able to receive China outbound tour group business, a trade that had been paused for around three years globally amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism had announced the 40-country approved list on Friday.
China Daily reported on Monday that Peng Shituan, cultural counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, had said at a meeting with Nguyễn Phương Hoa, head of the International Cooperation Department under Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, that the two nations had enjoyed strong tourism cooperation before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Hoa was cited welcoming China’s contribution to bilateral tourism cooperation.
Separately, Vietnam News Agency reported in an article published on Monday, that China was Vietnam’s largest individual source market for tourists prior to the pandemic.
In 2019, Vietnam welcomed 5.8 million Chinese visitors, accounting for nearly 30 percent of foreign tourists. In the other direction, 4.5 million Vietnamese travelled to China in that year, according to the news outlet.
Vietnam has a casino industry, with all but one of the venues open only to foreigners. In the autumn, Vietnam and China agreed to promote bilateral cooperation against “cross-border gambling” among a number of law enforcement topics.
Earlier – with effect from February 6 – a total of 20 countries was listed by China as on its approved list for outbound tour groups. They included Asia-Pacific nations with casino industries: Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
In November, Cambodia and China agreed to strengthen cooperation, including efforts to crack down on online gambling and telecommunications scams.
So far South Korea, a popular destination for Chinese tourists before the pandemic, has not been named by China as approved for resumption of group tours. For a period after China relaxed its Covid-19 countermeasures in early January, the South Korean authorities had required Covid-19 tests for visitors inbound from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Such requirement was lifted on March 11.
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