Thailand and Vietnam, whose economies rely primarily on tourism, are driving the resumption of the travel industry despite the surge in coronavirus cases and the outbreak of Delta variants.
Late last week, the Vietnamese government announced that it would reopen Phu Quoc Island to fully vaccinated foreign tourists with the goal of attracting 2 to 3 million foreign visitors by the end of the year. In parallel with the move, Vietnam’s Tourism Board Chairman Nguyen Chun Khan said efforts to immunize the island’s inhabitants would be prioritized.
In 2019, Vietnam was visited by more than 18 million foreign tourists. However, as a sign of the serious impact of the pandemic, arrivals abroad in March 2020 plummeted to about 32% of the same month last year as the coronavirus began to attack violently. Vietnam tourism statistics.
Vietnam did a good job of containing the virus in the early stages of the pandemic, but like many other countries, it struggled to contain the delta mutant this year. According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, an average of 12,724 new cases are recorded daily in the country. According to Our World in Data figures, only 4.9% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Thailand will also welcome tourists who have been fully vaccinated in Bangkok and other major tourist destinations from October, according to Reuters. This is the second phase of the reopening plan initiated in the last two months, with the reopening of locations including Phuket Island.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Thailand had nearly 40 million international visitors in 2019. Tourism accounts for about one-fifth of the country’s economic activity, and the pandemic contributed to a 6.1% decline in the country’s GDP in 2020.
According to the Thai Tourism Board, Thailand reports about 14,000 new cases daily and there has been public protest over the government’s response to the pandemic. In 2020 Thailand recorded less than 100 Covid-related deaths, but 2021 casualties have already exceeded 12,000.