Passenger numbers through Vietnamese airports reached more than 81 million in the first 10 months of this year, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam reported.

The number is expected to increase to 100 million by the end of 2022, which is roughly 80 percent of the 2019 figure.

At the same time, rapidly increasing flights were seen for the upcoming Lunar New Year as local airlines raced to increase 1.7 million seats, the authority said.

Although the domestic market has experienced strong growth, the international market has only recovered about 50 percent, according to local media.

Things are looking good in the inbound tourism market with travel agencies busy bringing groups of foreign tourists to Vietnam during the year-end. Luxury cruises for this month and next are fully booked and customers are mainly from the US, Australia, India and Southeast Asia.

However, the lack of international routes and an unfriendly visa policy still hindered the recovery of tourism in Vietnam. Vietnam fully reopened its borders to foreign tourists in mid-March, travel agents finding it difficult to attract enough visitors due to its strict visa policy, which allows tourists only up to 30 days on a single-entry visa, the VNExpress reported.

Previously, it was possible for tourists to get a three-month multi-entry visa that allowed them to enter and exit the country freely during the period. Vietnam currently grants a visa-free stay of 15-30 days to citizens from 24 countries.

According to experts, infrastructure transportation companies have made a strong recovery, while airlines and passenger transportation providers still face many challenges, including cash flow imbalance caused by the pandemic when their operations were largely frozen.

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Source: Vietnam Insider

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