Aug 30, 2020 / 12:40

Covid-19 still hurts Vietnam's inbound tourism

The Hanoitimes - Dramatic drops in arrivals were seen in major markets such as China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan (China), Europe and the US.

Vietnam welcomed nearly 3.8 million international visitors in the first eight months of 2020, a drop of 66.6% over the same period last year, as the country keeps its borders closed to foreigners to contain Covid-19, according to the latest report from the General Statistics Office.

 Photo: Minh Nguyen (Facebook)

Some 163,000 foreigners have arrived in Vietnam in August, increasing 16.9% from July but plummeted 98.9% year-on-year. 

During January - August, international arrivals by air dropped 65.7% year-on-year to around 3 million, while 580,500 came by road, down 74.2%, and those arriving by sea decreased by 15.9% to 144,400.

The central government has only authorized some repatriation flights to bring Vietnamese citizens home. Foreigners such as expats, diplomats, business executives and highly-skilled laborers are allowed to enter in some exceptional cases.

In the first eight months of this year, Asian visitors still accounted for the majority of total tourist inflows, with nearly 2.76 million, down 68.8% over the same period last year. 

Visitors from Europe reached 667,600, down 54.8% while arrivals from the Americas fell 65.3% to nearly 234,800, mostly from the US. Around 102,400 arrivals were from Oceania, down 65.4% while visitors from Africa were close to 12,200, down 59.8%.

 Source: the General Statistics Office. Chart: Nhat Minh

In mid-August, the Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA) petitioned the government to reopen international routes to countries deemed to be safe from Covid-19. 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has discussed with the authorities of some countries which are considered to be safe on screening measures. Some countries have agreed to open air routes to Vietnam, provided that screening measures are taken. Therefore, the resumption of international air travel depends on the intake capacity of quarantine facilities as well as that of the health sector in the country.

The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control will decide when to reopen international routes and issue regulations such as quarantine fee collection and pandemic control protocols.