The pandemic took the world by storm. Now it is taking its toll on everything – from the economy to peoples’ lives. Countries all over the world continue to fight and try to live normally as possible. They find ways to overcome the Covid-19 disease and help revive their dwindling economies. One way is to welcome foreign travelers to their tourist attractions.
Amid the uncertainty, Vietnam is trying to rise again by opening its major tourist attractions this December. The country will only allow vaccinated foreign visitors from countries considered with low COVID-19 risks. The government is doing its best to speed up its vaccination program. Currently, only 13% of its 98 million had their shots, making it one of the lowest rates in Asia.
The government stipulated strict border measures since the pandemic started. It was successful at first, but it greatly affected its budding tourism sector in the long run. The tourist attractions in Vietnam accounts for the country’s 10% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Resort opening plan, pushed back
Last month, Vietnam revealed that from November, it will reopen Phu Quoc, a resort island. Only vaccinated locals and tourists can enter because they want to prevent the possible spread of the Covid-19 virus.
However, the government canceled the plan because it wasn’t able to meet targets for vaccinating residents. It was due to inadequate vaccine supplies.
According to authorities, Phu Quoc will have a gradual opening over six months. It will start on November 20 with up to three chartered flights every week.
Phú Quốc is a precipitous and densely forested island measuring 1320 sq km. Locals and foreign tourists can get enough of the beautiful beaches, evergreen forests, and peaceful atmosphere. UNESCO listed the island’s northern part as a national park.
Tourists can explore the whole island visit expansive nature parks, Buddhist pagods, and traditional villages. They can even book daytrips with credible companies that serve motorcycles, taxis, or bus rentals. Along the coasts are lavish resorts, eccentric bars, and old-fashioned cafes.
If the plan proceeds, the island tourist attraction expects 3,000-5,000 visitors during the trial period. There will be a mandatory COVID-19 tests that authorities will conduct. It is not yet understood if visitors need to go through a seven-day quarantine period based on Vietnam’s health ministry request.
The plan to open the country’s tourist attractions to visitors – locals or foreigners – is because neighboring countries already did. Malaysia reopened Langkawi toits local visitors, while Thailand resume its tourism operation in Phuket and Samui islands to inoculated
Tourist attractions have to wait
From December, foreign visitors from approved nations can go to one of Vietnam’s main tourist attractions. It includes UNESCO world heritage site Halong Bay and Hoi An. These are Dalat’s highlands town and Nha Trang beach destinations.
“We are only open when it’s truly safe,” the government said in a statement. We are moving step by step, cautiously but flexibly to adapt to real situations of the pandemic,” said the government.
Because of the pandemic, foreign travel arrivals to Vietnam declined to 3.6 million in 2020. It was 18 million in 2019 when revenue from tourism was $31 billion, which is equal to 12% GDP.
Thailand followed the same action. This neighboring country plans to expand sites in its initial program. It will allow vaccinated visitors to go to its tourist attractions to help boost its plunging economy.