Vietnam receives first foreign tourists in nearly two years

Ho Chi Minh City, Nov 18 (EFE).- Vietnam has received its first foreign tourists after 20 months of its borders being shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as par of a program that allows the controlled entry of travelers vaccinated against Covid-19 in some hotels, although their movements would be restricted, local media outlets reported on Thursday.

The 29 visitors, who were required to have got fully vaccinated or carry a certificate that they had recovered from the disease, arrived at the central Danang airport on Tuesday onboard a Vietnam Airlines flight from South Korea.

The measure is part of a gradual opening of Southeast Asia after nearly two years of closure, with Thailand welcoming its first international tourists last month and Indonesia allowing foreign tourists on the Bali island.

The tourists in Vietnam have been accommodated at a luxury hotel in the Quang Nam province, close to Danang, where they will spend seven nights as part of a package that will allow them to access the nearby beaches, two restaurants, a casino and visit the nearby ruins of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Some of the tourists, who include nationals of Australia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom, will stay back in Vietnam after the seven-day period to meet their family members.

The tourist arrivals were planned as part of a pilot plan approved by the tourism ministry last month allowing international visitors to visit five provinces that house some of the major tourist attractions of the country.

Vietnam shut its borders to international tourism in March 2020 to check the spread of Covid-19, and since then has maintained one of the strictest entry restrictions in the world, for some months enforcing a three-month quarantine period for skilled workers who had obtained work and entry permits for the country. EFE


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