Vietnam received just 8,800 foreign arrivals in June, down 61.3 percent from the previous month and 99.3 percent from the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office.
The international arrivals were primarily experts and technical workers working on projects in the country.
The decline is due to Vietnam’s continued implementation of prevention and control measures related to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Southeast Asian country has yet to open its doors to foreign tourists.
Vietnam has barred entry to foreign nationals since March 22 and suspended international flights, except a few organized to repatriate citizens, from March 25 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In the January-June period, Vietnam welcomed more than 3.7 million international arrivals, down 55.8 percent year-on-year, resulting in a tourism revenue drop of 53.2 percent to VND10.3 trillion (US$446.3 million).
Particularly, arrivals by air plunged 54.3 percent year-on-year to about three million, accounting for 81.2 percent of all arrivals while 559.600 came by road, a decrease of 66.8 percent.
Arrivals by sea rose 3.7 percent to 144,300.
Of the total 3.7 million arrivals, Asian visitors accounted for the majority of the tourist inflow with nearly 2.73 million, down 58.4 percent from the same period last year, while those from Europe were estimated at about 666,000, down 42 percent.
Likewise, visitors from the Americas totaled 234,500, down 54.8 percent.
Arrivals from Oceania reached 102,300, representing a 54.4-percent decline, and visitors from Africa numbered 12,100, down 46.6 percent.
Arrivals from Vietnam’s major feeder markets, including China, South Korea, and Japan, also sharply fell 63 percent, 60.4 percent, and 55.8 percent, respectively.
At a conference on tourism held in the southern province of Tay Ninh last week, Ho Chi Minh City Party chief Nguyen Thien Nhan proposed that the government build a road map for the gradual reopening of Vietnam’s tourism to international visitors in order for the industry to recover from the current downturn.
According to Nhan, Vietnam cannot wait until the pandemic is over to resume the international sector of its tourism, as the disease’s handling in other countries remains unpredictable.
Nguyen Trung Khanh, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said during a recent working session with the Ho Chi Minh City tourism sector that his agency will consider proposing the government relax travel restrictions and resume tourism promotions for international visitors on the basis of ensuring medical and travel safety, once the pandemic is controlled in Vietnam’s major feeder markets.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has also suggested the reconnection of flight routes to countries and territories having no new community infections in 30 consecutive days from the end of July.