Vietnam considers receiving foreign tourists back

The Hanoitimes - In the mean time, domestic tourists are saviors of the local tourism industry.

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The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has made a plan to gradually open the market to inbound tourists through launching its second stimulus program, but it has faced difficulties due to the low tourism season and concerns about the pandemic evolution.

 Pu Luong. Photo: Vu Minh Quan

Notably, the VNAT has launched promotional and communication activities on to promote Vietnam as a safe destination, VNAT Director General Nguyen Trung Khanh told Zing.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has allowed the resumption of six international air routes from September 15, gradually opening up for inbound tourism. Foreign passengers upon entry have to comply with safety measures including isolation and screening tests. Once proving that they are safe, foreign visitors will be allowed to travel across the country, Mr. Khanh said.

The Ministry of Health has recently issued a guide to facilitate the entry and stay of foreigners in the country. As such, passengers entering Vietnam are official and diplomatic passports, staff of international organizations, experts, managers, skilled workers, foreign investors, students and foreign relatives of Vietnamese, excluding international tourists. 

The visitors, who are required to have coronavirus-free certificate issued three to five days before boarding, will be tested using real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 twice in Vietnam.

Second stimulus program

Over the past nine months, Vietnam’s tourism sector has suffered a heavy toll from the pandemic. Therefore, measures to restore the industry and prevent the pandemic from spreading must be urgently deployed.

Earlier, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism proposed urgent solutions to support tourism businesses in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry also suggested that localities need to support businesses to participate in stimulus programs with the involvement of large tour operators in order to create spillover effects. 

In the context that the second wave of Covid-19 in Vietnam has been basically controlled, the second stimulus program aims to restore and promote domestic travel to make up for the losses caused by the closure of inbound and outbound tourism.

Meanwhile, due to social distancing measures, people’s incomes have been hurt and so is the demand for travel. However, the national tourism sector is hopeful the year-end festive season will provice a much needed revival for the industry.

Therefore, the tourism businesses are rearranging resources, carefully studying target market trends, developing policies and stimulus packages and organizing communications events to take advantage of holidays from now to year-end, even the Lunar New Year 2021.

“Ensuring safety is key to attracting visitors, as people now prefer to travel short distances in their own vehicles, so it is imperative that destinations strictly enforce measures to prevent the pandemic,” Mr. Khanh said.

The tourism industry in May, June and July seemed to recover thanks to the bustling activity of domestic travel. However, the resurgence of the pandemic in late July has destroyed hope for the restoration of the tourism industry. The second stimulus program will target outgoing tourists, expatriates in Vietnam as well as domestic travelers. Those participating in the year-end festivals and tourists of international meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) will be the driver of this program, Mr. Khanh said.

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