Vietnam among 7 nations eyed by Indonesia for int'l tourism reboot

By Nguyen Quy   June 4, 2021 | 05:15 am PT
Vietnam among 7 nations eyed by Indonesia for int'l tourism reboot
Tourists return from surfing at Kuta beach in Bali Island, Indonesia, February 2020. Photo by AFP.
The Indonesian government is setting up travel corridor arrangements with seven countries including Vietnam in preparation for reopening its borders to foreign tourists.

Indonesia's Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said he had met with the ambassadors of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, the U.K. and Vietnam in a closed-door meeting last month for travel corridor discussions, Jakarta Post reported.

"We hope once the Covid-19 pandemic has become more conducive, travel corridor arrangements could be implemented within a short period of time," he said.

Incoming tourists would be required to be in "good health, have met travel requirements and are ready to comply with all health protocols," Jakarta Post quoted the minister as saying.

The Indonesian government is looking to partially re-open its borders to international visitors from July.

Indonesia was one of Vietnam's fastest growing tourist markets before the pandemic, with the number of visitors from that country rising by 21.3 percent in 2019 year-on-year.

Earlier, Thai authorities said they are considering travel bubbles with some Asian countries and territories, including Vietnam, so international tourism could resume possibly in October.

Vietnam stopped all international commercial flights in March 2020. Visitors entering the country since have mainly been diplomats, experts, high-tech workers, and investors.

The government is considering allowing foreign visitors with vaccine passports following similar moves by other countries.

Vietnam's containment of Covid was a worldwide success story until late April when a fourth coronavirus wave reemerged in the country.

Since the pandemic broke out, Vietnam has recorded 8,115 cases, including 49 deaths while Indonesia reported over 1.8 million infections and 51,095 fatalities.

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