| Welcoming international tourists traveling to Hue by air
Waiting for commercial flights
Phu Bai has early become the country's fourth International Airport since the decision of the Minister of Transport on August 29, 2007. However, it was only in April 2023, with the commencement of Terminal 2's operations, that positive signs of new international routes truly emerged. Many travel businesses recently praised Phu Bai Airport when exploring the region to survey travel routes and tourism products, claiming it now reflects the essence of a luxurious international airport.
In recent decades, air travel has acted as a “catalyst” capable of bridging geographical, economic, and cultural distances between nations, regions, and localities, promoting tourism development. Consequently, policies aimed at “opening the skies” have garnered special attention from the government and relevant sectors. These policies are contributing to creating a wide-open gateway to the world.
Since the operation of the Terminal 2, Phu Bai Airport has welcomed and transported passengers from the cities of Kunming (Yunnan, China), Seoul (South Korea), and Taipei (Taiwan) to Hue. More recently, while welcoming a group of travellers from Taipei to Hue, tourism leaders announced that in 2023, Hai Van Cat International Travel Company, in collaboration with Taiwanese partners and Vietjet Air, would continue to operate multiple flights carrying tourists from Taiwan to Thua Thien Hue, with a frequency of 3 flights per week from August 18 to the end of October 2023.
These direct flights mark a new milestone, demonstrating the potential to reach out to the world of a locality that has chosen tourism as its key economic sector. Charter flights, on the other hand, are regarded trial flights that serve as market discovery activities. To truly establish connectivity and trade, particularly in the tourism sector between Thua Thien Hue and other countries, the greater expectation is on regular commercial flights.
Mr. Truong Thanh Minh, Director of Hue Tourism Promotion Information Center, believes that it won't be easy to operate regular commercial flights overnight. Rather, it will require an extended process with significant efforts, including the establishment of charter flights to promote, communicate, and cultivate habits among tourists on a regular and consistent basis. On average, this mission will have to take about three years.
The province's policy since Terminal 2 at Phu Bai International Airport came into operation has been to develop domestic flights, research routes to other destinations, prioritize flights to Singapore, Thailand, and open flights to other markets such as Macau and Taiwan. It also seeks to increase the frequency of flights to and from Phu Bai International Airport. Standing Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, hopes that with various solutions and the efforts of local authorities, departments, units, Thua Thien Hue would operate commercial flights with a stable frequency in the near future.
| International passengers go through immigration procedures at Phu Bai International Airport
Synergize multiple solutions
Through the proactiveness of the local authority and the tourism sector, the aviation-tourism partnership with various airline companies and international partners has resulted in a positive sign: new prospects. Notably, during discussions with Vietnam Airlines and the Commercial Department - Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company, both sides have reached an agreement to open new flight routes, enhance the promotion of international flights, and create opportunities for robust tourism development.
Mr. Dinh Viet Phuong, CEO of Vietjet Air, stated that for Thua Thien Hue, Vietjet has initiated its first international flight routes to Phu Bai Airport from Kunming (China), together with Hue - Seoul (Incheon, South Korea) and Hue - Taipei (Taiwan) routes. Vietjet wishes and will continue to collaborate with provincial authorities and Phu Bai International Airport to organize more flights, contributing to the growth of tourism in Thua Thien Hue.
In addition to the implemented solutions, bringing commercial flights closer to reality in the near future requires a concerted effort from local authorities, the tourism sector, travel companies, and related organizations to intensify promotion and advertisement of local tourism products and images. This involves crafting unique and exceptional tourism products to attract visitors.
Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Director of Hue Department of Tourism, revealed that the tourism sector also advises the provincial government on favorable conditions and encourages local tourism enterprises to offer preferential pricing policies to airlines and travel agencies bringing passengers to Thua Thien Hue. It would also support connectivity and promotion for local tourism businesses to create new and distinctive products, especially in wellness tourism, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism, traditional craft village tourism, and spiritual tourism, to complement heritage tourism. The provincial tourism sector is also striving to create attractive incentive programs and a friendly environment to leave a strong impression on tourists.