Published on : Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Two hundred vaccinated foreign tourists came toVietnam’s beach-fringed island of Phu Quoc on Saturday. This is the first wave of visitors to Vietmanin almost two years as the country is aiming torevive its pandemic-ravaged tourism economy.
Vietnam imposed tight border controls during the beginning of the pandemic for curbing Covid-19, with some initial success, but that in turn created impediments for its promising tourism sector, which usually accounts for about 10 per cent of gross domestic product.
As of now, vaccinated tourists do not have to go through mandatory two-week quarantine, said the authorities. However, they would have to enjoy their holiday only inside the mega complex resort Vinpearl and will need to get tested twice during their trip.
“This is the first and vital step to revive our tourism sector and to prepare for the full resumption next year,” said Nguyen Trung Khanh, the chairman of the country’s tourism administration.
“We want to offer tourists a new experience amid new normalcy which they can live fully in Phu Quoc and then live fully in Vietnam,” Khanh added.
The island’s authorities are hoping to witness 400,000 domestic and international tourists by the end of 2021.
Other Vietnamese destinations like the UNESCO world heritage site Hoi An and Danang beach are also welcoming international tourists once again.
Foreign arrivals to Vietnam declined from 18 million in 2019, when tourism revenue was USD 31 billion, or almost 12 per cent of its gross domestic product, to 3.8 million last year.
Vietnam, having vaccinated more than half of its 98 million people, is seeking to recommence international commercial flights from January next year and a full tourism reopening from June.