Vietnam to expand inbound tourism in early 2022
Vietnam has planned to expand locations in its pilot scheme to welcome back vaccinated visitors from overseas in early 2022, according to Nguyen Trung Khanh, director general of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
|Vietnam is welcoming back foreign visitors in November 2021 on a trial basis after months of closing its inbound tourism services. (Photo: VNA)|
Destinations will be expanded in early 2022, and localities that meet conditions will be considered for allowing international tourists, Khanh said at a recent roundtable discussion to examine localities’ preparations for receiving holidaymakers.
Khanh said the tourism sector is actively implementing the Government’s Resolution 128 on safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of COVID-19.
“Besides receiving domestic holidaymakers, Vietnam is reopening the door to international visitors to some localities, and moving towards fully reopening international tourism market,” said the official.
According to Khanh, safety will be given top priority and localities have been required to have plans to “handle incidents so that any problems that arise can be quickly resolved”.
Vo Huy Cuong, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, affirmed that the recovery of the tourism sector is closely linked to the recovery of the aviation sector.
He cited information from airlines, saying there will be incoming flights from international markets such as the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan (China) and Thailand to selected pilot destinations in Vietnam in the near future.
These are very encouraging signals, helping Vietnam’s aviation sector to resume international commercial flights and facilitate the reception of international passengers as well as overseas Vietnamese wishing to return home, said Cuong.
Amid concerns about COVID-19 threats when Vietnam reopens its international tourism market, Vu The Binh, vice president of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said Vietnam cannot close its borders forever and localities COVID-19 must flexibly and safely adapt to COVID-19.
In his opinion, vaccination is the most important factor in COVID-19 prevention, and safe tourism development must go hand in hand with economic development.
“Travel businesses understand this best, therefore they must ensure safety for their employees and customers…… We have to trust businesses. Businesses are allowed to operate as soon as they meet conditions,” said Binh.
Vietnam has closed its borders to combat the COVID-19 pandemic since late April 2020. The move has dealt a heavy blow to economic development, including the tourism sector that makes up approximately 10% of Vietnam’s gross domestic product.
The Government has recently approved the VNAT’s proposal to implement a pilot scheme to allow foreign travelers to destinations in Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Quang Ninh in the first phase in the last two months of 2021.
Kien Giang is scheduled to welcome a flight from the Republic of Korea on November 20 to bring approximately 250 vaccinated visitors to its Phu Quoc island resort.
The Covid-19 pandemic in the past two years is not just a crisis in which the domestic tourism industry can be revived simply by reducing prices or stimulating demand like previous times.