Vietnam only Southeast Asian country to fully reopen int'l tourism

By Hoang Phong   June 24, 2022 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnam only Southeast Asian country to fully reopen int'l tourism
American tourists wear Vietnamese conical hats 'non la' and traditional checkered black and white shawl 'khan rang' at a welcome ceremony in HCMC on April 8, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Huynh Nhi
Vietnam is the only Southeast Asian country that has reopened international tourism without any Covid restrictions, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said.

Its Destination Tracker tool showed that 52 countries have fully reopened their borders to foreign tourists as of June 17 and Vietnam is one of only four in the Asia-Pacific, Harry Hwang, executive director of the Asia-Pacific region for UNWTO, told an online tourism conference in South Korea on Friday.

Ha Van Sieu, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said at the conference that foreign tourists entering Vietnam are not required to be quarantined, present vaccination certification or negative Covid test results.

Foreign tourists do not need to submit health declarations before entry while the domestic tourism market is also witnessing a strong recovery post reopening, Sieu said.

Hwang said the Asia-Pacific region is recovering tourism slowly, because many source markets have not yet fully restarted tourism.

Experts predict that the recovery prospects of the Asia-Pacific region would also be slower, maybe taking until 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels.

On March 15, the government allowed quarantine-free entry and resumed its visa waiver for citizens of 24 countries, including Japan, South Korea and some European economies.

In 2019, before the onset of the pandemic, Vietnam received a record 18 million foreign tourists.

This year, Vietnam targets five million international visitors.

In Southeast Asia, Thailand had reopened tourism earlier than Vietnam but still imposes some Covid restrictions.

Foreign tourists to Thailand need to produce proof of vaccination and apply for a Thailand Pass online before arrival. However, the government has announced this requirement will be lifted on July 1.

Indonesia is also requiring foreign tourists to produce vaccination certificates.

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