Vietnam recorded 3.7 million visits from January to June, a massive drop of 57% compared with the first half of 2019 according to data from the Government Statistics Office.
Based on the first half fall, the country is now looking at a year-end total of around 9 to 10 million visits compared with 18 million recorded in 2019 if it eases travel restrictions and begins issuing tourist visas soon.
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reported that during the first six months of 2020, domestic tourism also fell by nearly 50% to 23 million. Average occupancy at lodgings and hotels was around 20%.
Tourism revenue was estimated to have tumbled 48% year-on-year to VND176.8 trillion VND (USD7.6 billion USD the Vietnam News Agency quoted in its update.
Covid-19 forced around 95% of travel companies nationwide to suspend operations during the first half with heavy job losses.
Since May when the lockdown eased, domestic flights resumed and airlines are planning new routes to boost domestic travel. The number of domestic travellers in June reached 7 million, a 2.3-fold rise against May.
International travel to Vietnam is still on hold. Visas are not being issued, and only so-called repatriations flights operate. Vietnam faces the same challenges as Thailand, having contained the spread of the virus the two countries are struggling to map the way forward and balance commercial interests while ensuring it doesn’t trigger a second wave of infections.