Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Oct 7 (EFE).- Vietnam would completely reopen the country to international travelers from June by slowly reopening some tourist spots before returning to full activity, after it shut borders in March 2020 due to Covid-19, authorities said Thursday.
The National Tourism Administration said in a statement published Wednesday night that international tourism will return first in areas considered low risk such as Phu Quoc island, one of the country’s tourist jewels, which plans to welcome vaccinated international tourists from November.
After the pioneering Phu Quoc initiative, other emblematic places of Vietnamese tourism such as Halong Bay, the historic city of Hoian, the Dalat seaside resort and the beach destination of Nhatrang will continue with a controlled flow from December.
“We will only open when it is truly safe. We go step by step, carefully but with flexibility to adapt to the real situations of the pandemic,” the agency said about this preliminary plan, subject to possible changes depending on how the Covid-10 pandemic evolves.
The closure of borders to international tourism caused the number of foreign visitors to drop to 3.8 million in 2020, compared to 19 million the previous year, while this year the sector, which represents about 10 percent of national GDP, is fed exclusively by domestic travelers.
The country is emerging from its worst Covid-19 outbreak yet, which has brought the total death toll above 20,000 to more than 800,000 infections, with Ho Chi Minh City, its economic capital, as the epicenter.
In recent months, authorities have accelerated vaccination, but Vietnam continues to maintain one of the lowest rates in Asia, with 12 percent of the population immunized with the full dosage. EFE