HCMC, Binh Dinh allowed to welcome back foreign tourists
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A group of foreign tourists drink beer on Bui Vien pedestrian street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The government has greenlighted Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Dinh Province to welcome back foreign tourists under a vaccine passport trial program from this month.
The latest additions raised the total localities allowed to receive international visitors on special tour packages to seven.
Earlier, Quang Nam, Quang Ninh, Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa and Da Nang got the greenlight to allow in foreign visitors from mid-November.
HCMC, a major tourist hub, previously proposed the government to allow in fully immunized foreign tourists carrying 'vaccine passports' without mandatory quarantine.
The southern metropolis received over 8.6 million foreign visitors in 2019, or nearly half the total foreign arrivals in Vietnam.
Authorities in Binh Dinh Province, home to famous resort town Quy Nhon, last October had sought government approval to welcome tourists from Northeast Asia, Russia, the U.S., and some European countries.
Vietnam reopened its doors to foreign tourists in November after nearly two years.
In the month since then, over 3,500 foreign visitors arrived on package tours, according to Nguyen Trung Khanh, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
The country expects to receive five million foreign visitors under the vaccine passport program in 2022.