Liu Fengjiao had eagerly awaited this moment for three years, as it had been that long since her last trip abroad. Filled with excitement, she embarked on a journey to Vietnam, ready to immerse herself in new experiences.
Although her trip was brief, Liu, a resident from Hunan Province in central China, cherished every moment of it. As her one-day tour in Vietnam came to an end, she reached the Youyiguan border gate. With enthusiasm, she quickly retrieved her camera and captured a photograph of her tour group before bidding farewell.
“I had been eagerly anticipating this trip for so long, and the excitement overwhelmed me. Visiting Vietnam after three years was a dream come true,” Liu expressed joyfully.
The Youyiguan border gate, located in the city of Pingxiang in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has recently witnessed a surge in cross-border travel. The number of Chinese and Vietnamese tourists traveling to both sides has notably increased.
According to the Youyiguan immigration inspection station, from January to May, departures and arrivals at the border gate reached 460,000. This included approximately 1,400 tour groups with over 23,000 tourists.
With the pent-up demand for travel finally being released after the pandemic, travel agencies and tourism professionals from both China and Vietnam are confident in the potential of the cross-border tourism market.
Deng Qingfang, representing Guangxi Pingxiang Peace International Travel Co., Ltd., has been experiencing a busy period. Since the resumption of group travel between China and Vietnam in March, she has been actively responding to travel inquiries and establishing connections with Vietnamese travel agencies.
“We have noticed a significant increase in tourists seeking our travel services. In the past two months alone, our agency has served nearly 30 percent more tourists compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019,” said Deng, who has been working in the cross-border travel industry for almost a decade.
The resurgence in travel demand has brought renewed hope to tourism professionals. Deng mentioned that all the tour guides who had left the agency in the past three years have returned and resumed their roles as tour leaders, with many of them leading tours to Vietnam.
Besides the influx of Chinese tourists, the agency has also witnessed a noteworthy rise in the number of Vietnamese tourists visiting China. “Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting 1,000 Vietnamese tourists in a single day,” she stated.
Pham Thi Hoa Mai, the manager of a Vietnamese travel agency, has recently explored several cities in Guangxi to design new travel routes. “China is one of the most sought-after destinations for Vietnamese tourists, and we collaborate with Chinese travel agencies to organize trips,” she explained.
In 2019, China was Vietnam’s largest source of foreign visitors, with 5.8 million arrivals. Local tourism businesses in Vietnam are well-prepared to welcome more visitors.
“I will definitely visit Vietnam again and explore other countries in Southeast Asia. And next time, I plan to stay for a longer duration,” Liu expressed her enthusiasm.
Li Hui, a police officer at the Youyiguan immigration inspection station, reported that they have introduced special channels for group tours while implementing new measures to facilitate efficient customs clearance.