Vietnam welcomes first batch of int'l tourists in 20 months

Vietnam's central Quang Nam province on Wednesday welcomed 29 foreign tourists, the first quarantine-free international travelers to the country in 20 months, amid efforts to revive tourism post-COVID-19 restrictions.

The arrivals came from Australia, France, South Korea, and the United States, and will go on a package tour covering flights and accommodation in Quang Nam as part of a quarantine waiver for visitors fully vaccinated against COVID-19, local media VnExpress reported.

The province is scheduled to welcome some 300 other foreign tourists in the next few days under the vaccine passport program which is being piloted by the Vietnamese government.

All tourism staff at resorts and tourist facilities chosen for the trial program have been fully vaccinated, according to provincial authorities.

The central province, home to popular tourist spot Hoi An ancient town, is one of the first five localities allowed to welcome back fully vaccinated tourists from November onwards along with the northern Quang Ninh province, the central Da Nang city and Khanh Hoa province, and the southern Kien Giang province.

Also under the program, the island city of Phu Quoc in Kien Giang will welcome some 200 foreign tourists on Saturday, the first international visitors to the island after nearly two years of tourism freezing due to COVID-19, Vietnam News Agency reported.

Vietnam closed its border and grounded all international flights in March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only allowing entry for Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts and highly-skilled workers with certain quarantine requirements.

The Southeast Asian country hosted just more than 3.8 million international arrivals in 2020, plunging 78.7 percent from a record number of over 18 million in 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 broke out, according to its General Statistics Office. 

Copyright @Kunming Information Hub 2019. All Rights Reserved.