The request to fully restart the Vietnamese tourism industry, starting from April 30, has just been submitted to the government by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung.

“Vietnam’s tourism industry cannot wait any longer. April 30 (National Unification Day) will be a meaningful day. This will be a breakthrough step of the sector that is suitable for the new situation after the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

The first international tourists arrived at Phu Quoc Island on November 20. Photo: VNA

The minister made the request at the conference to present the results of the Vietnam Tourism Competitiveness Index for 15 Provincial Destination in 2021 (VTCI 2021), which was co-organized by the European Union, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Tourism Advisory Board, and PSD Committee on January 18.

“In fact, the tourism industry has welcomed international arrivals on a trial basis in the past two months. Besides, Vietnam is also among the top six countries with the widest Covid-19 vaccine coverage worldwide. At the same time, tourist destinations across the country are also ready to welcome foreign tourists,” he added.

Hung also said from now until April 30, localities that have been approved for receiving foreign tourists on a pilot basis will continue welcoming international visitors. If the request is approved, Vietnam will fully reopen to international visitors.

Deputy Director of the General Department of Tourism Pham Van Thuy proposed three urgent tasks in preparation for the full reopening, including: requesting that local tourist facilities be ready; strengthening tourism promotion and unifying tourism linkage policies among localities; and allowing all Vietnamese citizens to take commercial flights to Vietnam.

A visitor relaxes on the beach in Phu Quoc Island. Photo: Phu Quoc Travel

Thuy affirmed that Vietnam has great advantages and is eligible to fully reopen to foreign tourists. “There were already 7,800 foreign visitors to Vietnam during the past two months. Besides, tourism in the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia have now been fully restored,” he said.

Vietnam tourism sector has been open for vaccinated foreign travelers to key tourist destinations of Nha Trang City, Phu Quoc Island, Quang Nam Province, Da Nang City and Quang Ninh Province from November 2021.

On November 17, 2021, a group of 29 foreign tourists visited Hoi An in central Vietnam, opening a pilot program to welcome international visitors back, after more than 20 months of border closure due to Covid-19.

The first international tourists also arrived at Phu Quoc Island on November 20.

Meanwhile, on December 25, more than 200 Russian visitors arrived in Nha Trang, the southern province of Khanh Hoa after nearly two years of travel disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.