|Foreign nationals visit the Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám (Temple of Literature) in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng|
HÀ NỘI — The number of foreign arrivals to Việt Nam in the first quarter of this year fell 98.7 per cent year-on-year to just over 48,000, as the country’s inbound tourism sector continues to suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
As the country has closed its borders to nearly all foreign arrivals since late March last year to contain the pandemic and implemented strict quarantine protocols, the number of visitors arriving by air, land, and sea has fallen substantially.
Most arrivals have been foreign experts, diplomats, and technical workers working for Vietnamese projects or drivers bringing goods through border gates, according to the GSO.
The pandemic is largely under control in Việt Nam, with frontline workers now receiving vaccine shots. Authorities have bolstered negotiations with international partners on vaccine procurement while speeding up homegrown vaccine development to ensure accessibility for local people.
The Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said although it was necessary to reopen the door to foreign tourists, the country must ensure effective pandemic prevention.
VNAT has worked with representatives from relevant ministries and sectors to discuss a pilot plan on bringing foreign visitors to Việt Nam.
Source markets must have sound pandemic prevention measures in place and have bilateral agreements with Việt Nam on the issue, such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (China). Travel companies and destinations must also meet State requirements on pandemic prevention. — VNS