On March 7, Ho Chi Minh City Tourist Office signed an agreement with the European Chamber of Commerce (Eurocham) in an effort to boost the tourism industry in Ho Chi Minh and throughout Vietnam. Eurocham President Alain Cany welcomes the news that Vietnam will be fully open to international travelers from 15 March 2022.
International travelers have had to wait almost two years to travel freely to Vietnam since the Covid 19 pandemic ravaged the country. European business also welcomes the news after two years of travel restrictions due to Covid 19 social distancing and quarantine guidelines. Before the pandemic, the number of European travelers to Vietnam was estimated to have increased by an average of 7%. Besides, it was reported that “Vietnam will lift restrictions on international flights from February 15. The frequency of flights will be restored to pre-pandemic levels” Vietnam began to resume international flights with 15 markets and relaxed quarantine requirements with vaccinated passengers, only three days of self-isolation since February 2022.
The agreement outlines core activities of market research, tourism statistics and human resources training and both sides agreed to share experiences in tourism management and operation. Eurocham also helps to market and promote the urban tourism industry to more European companies and Vietnamese citizens. The agreement also offers the city’s tourism industry the opportunity to expand direct channels to promote the city’s image among European companies.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, the Business Climate Index (BCI) released a report showing European companies 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 travelers by 2022. That would pave the way for international entrepreneurs to invest. Vietnam reopens its doors to tourists and has a policy of living normally with Covid. Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in Vietnam.
Personally, I believe that the Vietnamese government should go further and faster with reopening, especially in high-vaccination areas. This will allow Vietnam to realize its greatest potential in economic recovery and attract more foreign investment by 2022.