On 7 March, Ho Chi Minh City Tourist Office signed an agreement with the European Chamber of Commerce (Eurocham) in an effort to boost the Ho Chi Minh tourism industry and across Vietnam. Eurocham President Alain Cany welcome the news Vietnam will fully reopen for international travellers from 15 March 2022.
International travellers had to wait for almost two years to travel to Vietnam freely since the Covid 19 pandemic raged the country. The European business community welcome the news as well after two years of travel restrictions due to Covid 19 social distancing guidance and quarantine. Before the pandemic, it was estimated European travellers to Vietnam had increased by an average of 7%. In addition, it was reported that “Vietnam will lift restrictions on international flights starting February 15. The frequency of flights will be restored to pre-pandemic level” Vietnam began resuming international flights with 15 markets and eased quarantine requirements with vaccinated passengers just three days of self-isolation since February 2022.
The agreement outlines core activities on market research, tourism statistics and human resources training and both sides agreed to share experience in tourism management and operation. Eurocham also help to market and promote the city tourism industry to more European firms and Vietnamese citizen. The agreement also allows the city’s tourism industry to have the opportunity to expand direct channels to promote the image of the city to European companies.
In the fourth quarter 2021, the Business Climate Index (BCI) released a report showing that European businesses are concerned that some industries in Vietnam are at risk of falling behind in the recovery race after the pandemic. It is noted that the city’s tourism industry has the ambition to welcome more than 3.5 million international travellers within 2022. That would pay the way for international entrepreneurs to invest. Vietnam is reopening its doors to tourists and has a policy to live with Covid normally. Tourism is one of the key economic sectors in Vietnam.
I personally believe that the Vietnamese Government needs to go further and faster in reopening, particularly in areas with high vaccination rates. In doing so, Vietnam can achieve its greatest potential in economic recovery and attract more foreign investments in 2022.