Vietnam is further easing restrictions as it reopens its borders to select destinations deemed to have handled the coronavirus well.
At the latest meeting of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group, Tran Phong Binh, deputy head of the tourism market department at Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that starting this month, the country will welcome flights from Taiwan, Guangzhou in China, Tokyo in Japan, and Seoul in South Korea.
Tran shared that these places were chosen as they were considered to have managed Covid-19 “very well”.
The agreement is only for overseas nationals, diplomats, high-level workers, investors and other special cases as determined by the government. Currently, Tran said they must undergo 14-day quarantine.
He added that if the pilot programme is successful, authorities will consider putting in place similar agreements with Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore.
Tran further said that the country has now entered the second phase of its VietnamSafe Communication Plan. The second stage of phase two will be implemented in October and will see the destination ramp up its promotion channels ahead of reopening its doors to international tourists.
However, Tran added, easing restrictions for international tourists will be done with caution, as the government monitors the situation.
In the meantime, Tran said the country has been successfully promoting domestic tourism since restarting flights within Vietnam in May. Heavy promotions have been put in place to encourage residents to travel local.
Tran noted: “Annually, about 13 million Vietnamese go abroad. With the borders closed, they cannot leave and are exploring parts of Vietnam instead. We are now receiving reports from some provinces that the number of tourists have increased from last year.”
He added that to date, Hanoi, Danang and coastal areas have drawn the most visitors.