Domestic tourist numbers surge after Covid travel restrictions ease
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Tourists pose for a group photo in front of the iconic Stone Church in the heart of Sa Pa, November 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
The number of domestic tourists in November climbed to 2.5 million, three times higher than the previous month as Vietnam entered the new normal period with eased travel restrictions.
Domestic tourism has shown signs of positive recovery as the number of domestic travelers in October only reached 750,000, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Nguyen Trung Khanh, head of VNAT, said Lao Cai, home to resort town Sa Pa, Hanoi and Khanh Hoa, home to Nha Trang beach town, took the lead in attracting domestic tourists.
The number of visitors to Lao Cai last month quadrupled from the previous month to 55,450 and the province earned tourism revenues of VND237 billion ($10.4 million). Most visitors are from Hanoi.
Lao Cai currently allows in fully vaccinated travelers from low and medium Covid risk areas.
Hanoi saw a 60-fold surge in the number of visitors to 300,000 in November and tourism revenues reached VND844 billion.
Camping sites in Hanoi have witnessed large crowds over the past weeks while luxury resorts such as Melia Ba Vi and Tomodachi Jackfruit Village on the outskirts of Hanoi have been full on weekends.
The number of visitors to Khanh Hoa doubled in November to 28,500 against the previous month. The province reopened to domestic travelers since Oct. 16.
In the south, Phu Quoc Island off the coast of Kien Giang Province has become a bright spot, with visitor numbers reaching nearly 300,000 in November, a 14-fold increase against the previous month.
With the pandemic basically under control and the government changing its strategy from seeking zero Covid cases to responding safely to the disease, domestic flights have resumed while provinces and cities restarted tourism activities, welcoming back domestic visitors since early October.
Khanh Hoa and Kien Giang are two of five localities that fully vaccinated foreign tourists are allowed to visit under a vaccine passport trial program, the others being Da Nang City, and Quang Nam, and Quang Ninh provinces.
In less than three weeks since reopening to international tourism in mid-November, Vietnam has seen 978 foreign tourists visit Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa and Kien Giang.