Vietnam: Tourism ministry wants to fully reopen to intl arrivals

Courtesy of the Vietnam National Administration for Tourism via Viet Nam News
Tourists on cycle tours in the Hoi An ancient town in Vietnam’s Quang Nam Province.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung has just submitted a proposed plan to the government for reopening international tourism in a safe and effective manner.

According to the plan, after the first pilot period for receiving international tourists, the second phase will last from now until March 30, with the number of eligible localities in the program extended to all those who have completed coverage of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots and with contained outbreak (green zone, as per the health ministry’s outbreak assessment criteria).

COVID-19 testing can be conducted at the accommodation sites, with no discrimination between domestic and international tourists, and no time restrictions imposed.

From March 31, Vietnam will be fully open to international tourism, with inbound and outbound tourists welcomed at all international border gates.

The end of the first quarter was chosen as Vietnam seeks to wrap up administration of booster shots to all adults, and any later date would reduce the attractiveness of Vietnam as a tourist destination given that many countries in the region are also planning to reopen soon to restore international tourism, explained the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The upcoming two months would provide ample time for relevant ministries and authorities to adjust the regulations and issue appropriate guidance, and for tourism businesses to carry out advertisements and PR campaigns and travel promotion programs, and prepare for the reception of international tourists during peak season.

May is also when Vietnam is scheduled to host the 2021 Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games 31), and the early announcement of reopening will contribute to the tourist draw, especially from countries in ASEAN with relatively high vaccination rates.