Vietnam News

Non-stop flight from Vietnam to India to draw more tourists

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In a bid to attract more tourists from the lucrative Indian market, Vietnam has launched non-stop flights from Mumbai and New Delhi to tourist haven Phu Quoc Island in southern Vietnam.

The first flight arrived last Friday morning, with low-cost carrier Vietjet Air bringing in 66 Indian tourists from Mumbai. There would be four weekly flights on this route. The Phu Quoc-New Delhi route started on Saturday with three flights a week.

According to a Vn Express report, Vietjet became the first Vietnamese carrier to operate a direct service to India in 2019, one of Vietnam’s growing tourism markets before the pandemic.

Following the country’s reopening of its borders, Vietnam has allowed quarantine-free entry since March and resumed its pre-pandemic visa policies.

Under this, Indians can apply for e-visas to enter the country hassle free. It has also done away with Covid-19 testing requirements.

Vietnam’s ambassador to New Delhi Pham Sanh Chau had previously said that Vietnamese authorities were now issuing up to 6,000 visas a day to Indian nationals – a 24-fold increase from pre-Covid times.

Before the pandemic, Vietnam was only issuing about 250 visas a day, and the increase has been attributed to the launch of new direct flights between the two countries. Pent up travel demand after the lockdown has also hugely boosted the tourism market.

Phu Quoc has seen some 100,000 foreign tourists visiting the island in the first eight months of the year, meeting half of this year’s target.

Vietnam is now rising as a new appealing tourist destination to Indians, especially Gen Z with the ease of applying for the e-visa, which only takes about two to three days.

The Vn Express said India had been one of Vietnam’s growing tourism markets before the pandemic hit, with the number of Indian visitors rising from 85,000 in 2016 to 169,000 in 2019, growing an average of 17 per cent yearly.

Vietjet Air will also start flying to three indian cities- Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru – starting on Sept 27, Oct 7 and Nov 2 respectively.

The carrier will start flying from the southern metropolis Ho Chi Minh City to the same cities on Sept 29, Oct 8 and Nov 1. Similar services will link Da Nang to India from late November.

The flights would take to 17, the number of direct services to India, said Vietjet deputy CEO Nguyen Thanh Son.

After Vietnam reopened to international tourism in mid-March, the search for direct flights from India grew by 400 per cent year-on-year in early April and by over 3,000 per cent in late May, according to data from Google’s Destination Insights.

New Straits Times (.my) – September 11, 2022 

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