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Vietnam consider opening up select islands to foreign tourists

15:27 | 29/05/2020

Vietnam is considering a pilot plan to bring international tourists to some islands, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said at a meeting on May 28.    

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vietnam consider opening up select islands to foreign tourists

Phu Quoc, also known as the "pearl island", has become a top tourist destination in Vietnam.

The committee reached agreement at yesterday meeting that the country should not open door to all foreigner tourist at this time, as risk of transmission from outside remain.

However, the country could consider welcoming foreign visitors from countries and territories where there have been no new cases for at least 30 days and launch a pilot plan to bring them to some islands with strict safety measures to ensure health of both locals and foreigners, Vnexpress reported.

Vietnam has suspended international flights since March 25 and banned entry of foreign nationals since March 22 except for special cases.

Earlier, authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang proposed welcoming foreign visitors to Vietnam’s largest island, Phu Quoc.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) late last week said it is hoping to kickstart tourism again with select openings for foreign visitors. It said that it was preparing plans to welcome visitors from countries and territories in anticipation of recovery and disease control in key markets like Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.

WeSwap, the U.K.’s largest travel money provider, this week listed Vietnam among the first economies likely to restart international tourism following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Politico, a U.S.-based political news organization, recently said that Vietnam has responded best to the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of health and economic impacts.

The country has gone 43 days without community transmission of Covid-19. It has reported 327 infections without any deaths. The number of active cases is 49.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Trinh Thi Thuy reported that localities and travel businesses have responded warmly to the domestic tourism stimulus programme, offering numerous discounts and new products. Hotel occupancy rates have reached 80-90 percent and even 100 percent in some places, which are good signs for domestic tourism.

According to the deputy minister, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has coordinated with travel associations to prepare plans to receive international tourists once the pandemic is contained, but the focus in the immediate future is on domestic tourism.

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