Vietnam returns to “pre-pandemic” travel levels as the country prepares to lift Covid-19 restrictions and welcome international flights tomorrow. 

On February 15th, 2022, Vietnam will be lowering its Covid-19 travel restrictions on international flights from all markets. There will be no limit on flight numbers as the country prepares to welcome back regular passenger travel.

“Vietnam will lift restrictions on international flights starting February 15. The frequency of flights will be restored to pre-pandemic level,” said Dinh Viet Son, the Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.

Since the beginning of the pandemic the Southeast Asian country introduced strict border restrictions which aided with disease control but was detrimental to the country’s tourism sector, which accounts for about 10% of gross domestic product (GDP).

From now until 2026, Vietnam is projected to welcome about 18 million international and 85 million domestic tourists through a new two-phase programme introduced by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Van Hung.

Phase 1, from 2022 to 2023, will attract 8-9 million international tourists, in addition to 65-70 million domestic arrivals, anticipating travel revenue of VN400-450 trillion, 50% of Vietnam’s 2019 record. This phase will place emphasis on support for tourism and travel enterprises as well as Covid-19 safety regulations.

The second phase of this programme, from 2024 to 2026, predicts 16 million international travellers and 80 million domestic arrivals by 2025, total expected revenue reaching VN780 trillion. By 2026, international travel is expected to bring in 18 million visitors and 85 million domestically, with VN900 trillion in total revenue.

If Vietnam meets these targets by 2026, the figures will catch up to its 2019 results, with a hopeful VN45-145 trillion increase in revenue, marking a long seven year journey for the country’s tourism sector to bounce back. The opening of international travel initiates the start of this programme.

Since the beginning of 2022, Vietnam had already resumed international flights from 15 markets and reduced quarantine requirements, vaccinated travellers now only required to complete three days of self-isolation upon arrival.

According to official data, almost 98% of Vietnam’s population of 98 million people have received at least two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.


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