Only 3.7 million foreign tourists visited Vietnam in the first four months of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a year-on-year decline of 37.8 percent, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Foreign tourists in Hanoi
In April alone, the number was a mere 262,000, down 94.2 percent compared to March and 98.2 percent against April 2019.
Vietnam suspended the granting of visas for 30 days from March 18, which was a major factor in the declining numbers.
Visitors from Asia accounted for 72.7 percent of the total in the first four months, down 40.3 percent year-on-year, with the sharpest decline of 47.7 percent seen in the number of tourists from China.
The number of tourists from Cambodia and Laos, however, increased 157.2 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.
Visitors from Europe fell 25.4 percent year-on-year, of which arrivals from Russia were down 10.3 percent, from the UK 34.3 percent, from France 37.6 percent, and from Germany 35.8 percent.
The number of arrivals from the Americas was down 37.6 percent year-on-year.
Arrivals by air accounted for 80.7 percent of the total, down 35.9 percent, while those arriving by road fell 51.4 percent. Those coming via sea routes increased 20.7 percent.
After applying social distancing measures, many domestic tourist destinations have now been re-opened to welcome guests and have introduced promotional programmes, especially on the occasion of Reunification Day on April 30 and International Labour Day on May 1.
Tourism and accommodation establishments are, however, still applying preventative measures recommended by the Ministry of Health.
HCM City's authorities said they will soon launch a tourism stimulus programme targeting domestic visitors as well as key plans to revitalize the tourism industry following COVID-19.
Air passengers at record low in April
Vietnamese airports served 188,000 passengers in April, a decline of a record 98 percent year-on-year, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has reported.
The figure includes 21,000 international and 167,000 domestic passengers, down 99.4 percent and 97.3 percent, respectively, year-on-year.
Vietnamese air carriers ferried 86,000 passengers in April, down 98.1 percent year-on-year. The figure includes 2,400 international visitors and 83,600 domestic travellers, down 99.8 percent and 97.3 percent, respectively.
The significant decline in passenger numbers in April was exclusively due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the social distancing order imposed in early April minimising flights.
The Ministry of Transport has recently ordered that more flights be opened. From April 29 through 30, the Hanoi - HCM City route will see 28 round trips a day.
Flights linking Hanoi and HCM City with Da Nang will total eight round trips each a day, while carriers will independently decide on flights between other localities.
From May 1 through 15, a total of 36 round trips a day will be operated on the Hanoi - HCM City route and 12 round trips on the Hanoi/HCM City - Da Nang routes. The figures will be 52 and 20 round trips, respectively, from May 16.VNA