It would be ideal for Vietnam to gradually reopen its borders from the third quarter of this year and adopt an open visa policy.
A slow reopening of borders for international tourists may hamper Vietnam’s tourism outlook, as such, the Tourism Advisory Council (TAB) called for the government to gradually allow foreign entry without quarantine.
|Foreigners at Hoan Kiem lake. Photo: Pham Hung|
“Given the mass vaccination programs rolled out in many countries, a number of neighboring countries like Thailand and Singapore are putting in place policies to reopen borders for international tourists on the condition of having vaccine passport or certificate of vaccination against Covid-19,” stated the TAB in a letter sent to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The TAB, however, stressed its full support for the government’s stance of not sacrificing public health for economic benefits.
“As such, any reopening should be carried out in phases,” noted the TAB, adding Vietnam should engage in negotiation with countries of low Covid-19 risks, as well as work out requirements for vaccine passport, Covid-19 testing before and after arrival.
“The government should request mandatory travel insurance, including that of Covid-19, for all foreign tourists coming to Vietnam and Vietnamese traveling abroad,” it added.
The TAB also acknowledged the fact that any reopening should depend on the vaccination progress in Vietnam and in the country’s major source markets, as well as capacity to receive international tourists.
According to the TAB, travel season in near markets such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan starts from July to September, and in Europe, Australia, Russia from October to March.
“It would be ideal for Vietnam to gradually reopen from the third quarter of this year,” the TAB asserted.
“For higher competitiveness against regional countries, Vietnam should adopt an open visa policy, including the resumption of 30-day visa exemption and adding Australia, New Zealand, India, and Europe to the list.”
At a recent government meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc instructed related government agencies to review TAB’s suggestion for the reopening of borders amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has given an early sign of returning to normal operation by applying for direct flight to the US.
The move is aimed at repatriating Vietnamese citizens and later to start operating commercial flights from 2022.
Since last May, Vietnam Airlines had conducted 12 flights to bring home Vietnamese in the US, but the demand for returning remains huge.