China reopens borders but in no hurry to resume tourism activities

By Le Tan Jan 8, 2023 | 10:44 PM PT

Chinese citizens return home through Phu Nhi border gate in Lang Son province, Vietnam, January 8, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

China reopened its borders on Sunday after nearly three years of Covid lockdown, but has yet to allow tourists in either direction and has yet to issue visas.

However, thousands of Chinese living in Vietnam have returned home across the borders of northern provinces.

Officials in Dongxing city, Guangdong province, China, said the Chinese government is now prioritizing returning Chinese nationals and those coming for business purposes.

“The government will gradually allow tourists to enter the country, but no date has been set.”

Vietnam’s aviation and tourism industries are gearing up for the return of Chinese tourists, although visas for Vietnamese tourists have not yet resumed.

In Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ha Long, which depended heavily on Chinese tourists, tourism operators are improving infrastructure and training staff.

Vietnamese airlines plan to resume services to China later this month.

China was Vietnam’s largest source of tourists before the pandemic, with around 5.8 million visitors in 2019.

Vietnam received only 3.6 million foreign tourists last year, reaching 70% of its target.

Targeting 8 million foreign tourists this year, Along with sparking hope for China’s reopening.

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