It's been three years since Liu Fengjiao last traveled abroad, so when she returned to Vietnam she was brimming with excitement.
Despite the brevity of the trip, Liu, a resident from central China's Hunan Province, was enthralled at the prospect of the outing. She regained her camera and quickly captured a photo of her tour group before exchanging goodbyes.
The excitement of this trip filled me with exhilaration, as I had eagerly awaited it for so long. My visit to Vietnam after three years was a dream come true for me, he said.
Vietnam, China and Vietnam have pledged to promote bilateral ties to a new level.
The Pingxiang city of south China's autonomous region of Guangxi Zhuang has seen a significant cross-border travel boom, with the number of Chinese and Vietnamese tourists visiting both sides of the border increasing remarkably.
From January to May, departures and arrivals at the border gate reached 460,000 from January to May, which included around 1,400 tour groups with over 23,000 tourists, according to Youyiguan immigration inspection station.
With the release of pent-up travel demand following the pandemic, travel organizations and tourism practitioners from China and Vietnam are confident in the global tourism market.
Deng Qingfang, from Guangxi Pingxiang Peace International Travel Co. Ltd., said she has been quite busy lately. Since the resumption of group travel between China and Vietnam in March, she has been actively responding to travel inquiries and connecting with Vietnamese travel agencies.
We have seen a significant increase in the number of tourists visiting us for travel plans. The number of tourists served by the agency in the past two months alone has increased nearly 30 percent compared to the pre-pandemic levels in 2019, he said.
The surge in travel demand has heightened the hope among tourism professionals. Deng says that all the tour guides who left the agency over the past three years have returned and resumed their roles as tour leaders, with a majority of them leading tours to Vietnam.
The agency has also noticed a significant increase in the number of Vietnamese tourists visiting China, as well as Chinese tourists. We received about 1,000 Vietnamese tourists on a single day, she said.
Pham Thi Hoa Mai, the leader of a Vietnamese travel agency, has visited numerous cities in Guangxi recently to design new travel routes. We also collaborate with Chinese travel agencies to organize trips, she said, one of the most popular travel destinations for Vietnamese tourists.
After the reopening, Vietnam will collaborate with China to facilitate entry.
According to local tourism businesses, Vietnam's tourism industry is well-prepared to welcome more visitors.
I will definitely visit Vietnam again and other Southeast Asian countries in the future. And next time I will stay longer, he said.
In a spokesman for Youyiguan immigration inspection station, Li Hui, a police officer, said, they have opened special channels for group tours while adopting some new measures to facilitate efficient customs clearance.