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Vietnamese anticipate cautious reopening of international travel: survey

With Vietnam’s prolonged social distancing now in the rearview mirror for both Hanoi and HCM City, the country’s attention can turn to the possible re-opening of its borders to international travelers. 

 

 

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Agoda’s recent Welcome Back Travel survey provides fascinating insights into how the people of Vietnam expect this to unfold, with at least 60% expecting travel within Asia and globally to resume in the next six months but with some restrictions remaining in place.  

Despite one in 10 expecting international visitors to be allowed into Vietnam two years from now, Vietnam has announced that it will begin opening certain destinations to international visitors in November – beginning with Phu Quoc – along with Hoi An, Halong Bay and other international travel drawcards which are looking to follow suit in the months that follow, ahead of a full reopening in June 2022. 

Just 27% of respondents believed that full border re-openings will resume by the end of the year.

The timeframe most cited by respondents to the survey indicated for reopening was 7-11 months (20%), meaning around June 2022, followed by 4-6 months (19%) (around TET holiday). About 20% said they did not expect in-bound travel to resume fully until 80% of Vietnam is vaccinated. 

About 11% expected international visitors to be allowed to travel into Vietnam only after two years.

Respondents aged 55 and older preferred the more conservative track, with 24% saying 12-24 months and 15% over 24 months respectively.

Respondents aged 45-54 were conversely the most optimistic about border re-openings, with 10% saying within three months and 26% saying between four and six months.

The youngest group – 18-24 – were the most inclined to link border re-openings directly to vaccine targets, with 27% of young adults saying that they would only expect inbound travel to resume when 80% of the population has been vaccinated.

Hanoi was the most conservative city, with a quarter of residents saying international visitation is 7 to 11 months away, while HCM City split the difference with 20% of respondents choosing four to six months or 7-11 months each.

Vietnamese said they would consider travel within Asia than globally.

Respondents aged 45-54 were most optimistic about restriction free international travel within Asia (52%) compared to only 38% of 25-34 year olds.

Interestingly the 55+ age group were most optimistic about global restriction free travel (54%), followed by 45% for 45-54 year olds.

Around 47% expect inbound short-term travel to resume within 11 months, with 20% expecting it to be linked to 80% vaccine coverage in Vietnam.

The youngest cohort – with more expecting inbound travel to be linked to vaccinations – seem to also be in tune with the broader thinking of policy-makers, who are looking at full vaccination as a pre-condition for entry, both for next month’s plans in Phu Quoc and also for its broader national plan next year.

Mai Lan

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