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South Korea, US lead in tourist arrivals as Vietnam reopens borders

By Hoang Phong   May 23, 2022 | 11:40 pm PT
South Korea, US lead in tourist arrivals as Vietnam reopens borders
American tourists pose for a group photo in front of the Pagoda Bridge in Hoi An ancient town, April 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
South Korea had the largest number of visitors to Vietnam during the first four months of this year, followed by the U.S.

Vietnam received 192,000 foreign arrivals during the January-April period, up 284 percent against the same period last year, according to a report by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Of this, South Korea topped the list with 28,600 tourists, up 195 percent year-on-year, followed by the U.S. with 23,100.

The number of visitors from China, which used to be the biggest feeder market for Vietnam's tourism before the pandemic, came third with 22,600 that saw a year-on-year decrease of 20 percent.

Taiwan was fourth with 12,800 tourists while Japan rounded out the top five with 8,800.

The rest of the top 10 with the highest number of tourists to Vietnam were Cambodia, Japan, Australia, Laos and Russia.

Vietnam closed borders to tourists in March 2020 but still allowed experts, investors, diplomats, and Vietnamese repatriates to enter.

Starting March 15, the country allowed quarantine-free entry and resumed its pre-pandemic visa exemption policy for citizens from 24 countries, including Japan, South Korea and European economies.

After over a month of reopening, Vietnam has lifted most Covid-related restrictions and foreign arrivals now only have to show travel insurance of at least $10,000.

Vietnam targets five million foreign tourists this year, which is only around 30 percent of the total foreign arrivals in 2019, the year before the onset of the pandemic.

 
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