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Vietnam is the success story in Southeast Asia in the battle with coronavirus.

Vietnam is a safe tourist destination and is one of the few travel destinations that encompass incredible scenery, deep and heroic history. The beauty of nature is one of the major reasons to visit Vietnam. Other important reasons are opportunities to get to know local people and their unique culture.

There are so many reasons to travel to Vietnam and people who visit Vietnam will never feel short of fascinating travel experiences across the beautiful country like breathtaking landscape, wonderfull beaches, friendly and hospitable people etc.

With just 270 cases and zero coronavirus deaths, Vietnam has emerged as the first Southeast Asian country to pull its tourism sector out the pits, ahead of major Southeast Asia nations such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines that are still under various degrees of lockdown.

Vietnam is pulling ahead in the race to reopen Southeast Asia to city-hoppers and sunseekers. 

International arrivals were down 98% in May from a year earlier, after a record 2019. Yet success in containing the coronavirus epidemic means domestic travel has already restarted. Thailand, by comparison, is still under a state of emergency, and other neighbours in the tourism-friendly region are only slowly easing restrictions. The steady reopening will help Vietnam’s convalescing economy, and may encourage a welcome rethink on leisure industry priorities.

For a country of nearly 100 million that borders China, Vietnam has been something of a standout case through the pandemic. Official records show just 329 cases and no deaths. That reflects a decision to close borders rapidly, quarantine tens of thousands, and to contact trace and test at impressive levels. Clear official communication, affordable test kits and locally made protective equipment helped. Its lockdown lasted barely a month, and since mid-April, all new cases have been imported. By contrast, Thailand has roughly 3,100 cases, the Philippines over 20,000 and Singapore more than 37,000, mostly in migrant-worker dormitories.

The result is that Vietnam has been among the first countries globally to get its citizens holidaying again.

Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board, a non-profit comprising industry leaders and stakeholders, has asked the government to hold “early bilateral negotiations with source markets that have contained community transition,” vice chairman of the board, Kenneth Atkinson, told Skift.

“[The first bilaterals] are with the markets we need the most, i.e., China and South Korea,” said Atkinson, who is also founder of Grant Thornton Vietnam. “Then Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan, although Singapore isn’t looking too great right now with the cases from migrant workers”.

Together, China and South Korea account for 55 percent of arrivals to Vietnam, so “they are really critical,” added Michael Piro, chief operating officer, Indochina Capital. Of 18 million visitors last year, six million were from China and four million South Korea.

It’s an early glimpse into what post-pandemic holidays might look like for all of us.

What about the next step, then, the return of foreign visitors?

That may still be months away, despite airlines beginning to prepare for overseas flights.

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Patrizia Marin

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