International arrivals to Vietnam drop 98.7% in Q1
Many tourist attractions in Vietnam have become deserted since Covid-19 broke out. The number of international arrivals to Vietnam in the first quarter of 2021 fell 98.7% year-on-year - PHOTO: THESAIGONTIMES.VN
HCMC - The number of international tourist arrivals to Vietnam in the first quarter of 2021 is estimated at over 48,000, dropping 98.7% compared with the same period last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to severely affect the country’s tourism industry.
With Vietnam closing its borders, imposing travel restrictions and other strict measures to curb the pandemic, the number of visitors arriving by air, land and sea has all fallen over 90% year-on-year, the General Statistics Office reported on March 29.
Most of the arrivals to Vietnam comprised foreign experts and technical workers working on Vietnamese projects or drivers transporting goods through border gates.
In the first three months of the year, arrivals from Asia plunged 98.4% year-on-year and accounted for 88.6% of Vietnam’s total international arrivals. The number of tourists from all major source markets dropped drastically.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been brought under control in Vietnam and frontline workers have received vaccine shots. The Government is negotiating with international partners on vaccine supplies, while developing locally made vaccines to ensure accessibility for all people.
Domestic tourism has resumed, with cities and provinces as well as travel companies offering numerous promotions to attract tourists, especially in the lead up to Reunification Day (April 30) and International Labor Day (May 1). In recent days, local airlines have recorded a rising number of ticket bookings for the upcoming holidays.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is working with related ministries and departments to prepare for the resumption of international tourism as the Covid-19 vaccination coverage starts to spread and the Government plans to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists.
The administration said that although it is necessary to reopen the door to foreign tourists, the country must remain careful to ensure effective pandemic prevention while boosting tourism development.
Before the door is reopened to tourists from source markets such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, they will have to sign bilateral agreements with Vietnam on pandemic prevention measures. Travel companies and tourist attractions must meet the Government’s requirements on Covid-19 infection prevention and control.
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