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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Vietnam unlikely to reopen to international tourists on July 1

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HCMC – Many tour operators and international travel websites seem to have a misunderstanding that the just-issued Resolution 79/NQ-CP on e-visas for 80 countries and territories will lead to the reopening of international travel from early July.

The Vietnamese Government on May 25 issued the resolution listing 80 countries and territories whose citizens would apply for e-visas to Vietnam from July 1. But this resolution does not mean foreign nationals can travel to Vietnam from early July as the Covid-19-induced ban on international commercial flights remains in force.

“Representatives of TripAdvisor have contacted us to ask whether Vietnam’s tourism market will reopen for international tourists from July 1,” said Nguyen Son Thuy, director of Indochina Unique Tourist.

Speaking to The Saigon Times, a representative of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) stated that Resolution 79/NQ-CP is not related to the reopening of the international tourism market in Vietnam.

Vietnam had piloted e-visas a while ago, but the new regulations were only added to the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam in late 2019.

Resolution 79/NQ-CP has only one addition, which draws up a list of eight airports, 16 land border gates and 13 sea border gates through which foreign visitors can enter and exit the country with e-visas.

When will Vietnam reopen for international tourists?

The VNAT representative noted that the administration is consulting with ministries to decide when Vietnam will reopen for tourism, keeping in mind safety and Covid-19 prevention protocols, while also helping the virus-battered tourism sector recover.

Speaking at a conference last week on boosting the demand for local tourism and the post-pandemic recovery of the tourism sector, Dinh Viet Phuong, deputy general director of VietJet Air, remarked that local demand alone cannot salvage the country’s tourism sector.

Many travel firms have suggested reopening the doors to low-risk countries and territories such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan to help tourism recover gradually.

Once Vietnam reopens its doors to international tourists, the country should focus on promoting itself as a safe destination with many exciting activities on offer, said Pham Ha, CEO of Luxury Travel Group.

“After the pandemic, the slogan ‘Vietnam Now’ should be changed to ‘Wow Vietnam,’ promising that the country will amaze tourists with its marvelous coasts, food and culture,” he added.

By Dao Loan

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