Post social distancing: digitalization of tourism itinerary ready to welcome visitors hinh anh 1Passenger trials IATA e-health passport (Photo: Vietnam+)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam is on the way to re-open the sky when Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh province welcomed passengers on the first international flight, piloting the Health Ministry’s seven-day concentrated medical quarantine programme on September 4.

This is considered a premise for the tourisms sector to implement the Politburo’s direction on piloting welcoming foreign visitors to a number of tourism centres capable of controlling the pandemic, such as Phu Quoc (Kien Giang) in the coming time.

How has the tourism sector prepared for the recovery?

Paving way for foreign tourists

Many countries have started to allow their citizens to use “vaccine passports” (COVID-19 vaccine vaccination certificate) for domestic travel and other activities.

Exports believe that the certificate plays an important role in domestic and international travel in the future as the resumption of travelling and trading in the world is urgent than ever.

Currently, some organisations have trialled and applied digitalized certified tools with different names. For example, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed the Digital Travel Pass used in aviation sector. The European Union (EU) has applied the COVID-19 digitalised certificate to facilitate travelling within the bloc.

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum and Common Project have issued the Common Pass and the IBM has developed and issued the digital health pass.

In the context, the Vietnam Administration of Tourism (VNA) said it had prepared a European standard system of COVID-19 vaccination certification, available at, being ready to welcome and serving foreign tourists when international tourism activities are resumed.

Post social distancing: digitalization of tourism itinerary ready to welcome visitors hinh anh 2 “Vietnam Safe Travel” application (Screenshot)

It provides users with a digital map containing information on restaurants, hotels, apartments, entertainment places, transport providers, hospitals and pharmacies.

Visitors can also look up information about the current COVID-19 situation in their intended destination including details about infection cases and the number of recovered patients there.

The app is under development with new functions expected to be added, including COVID-19 safety verification for tourism services providers, COVID-19 vaccine certification, digital map for safe travel, health records, travel insurance, and e-tickets.

Mobile app “Du lich Viet Nam an toan” (Vietnam Safe Travel) now allows users to fill in health declaration without switching to another platforms, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

Connected with the health declaration management system operated by the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, the new integrated service makes it easier and faster for users to complete the form online and helps authorities improve the effectiveness of the COVID-19 response.

Since April last year the country has kept its borders closed to international tourists to combat COVID-19, with the majority of foreign arrivals made up of experts and technical workers performing duties and projects locally. However, during the regular cabinet meeting on September 6, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh urged Kien Giang Province to soon pilot the travel program on welcoming international tourists to Phu Quoc Island. It is expected that there will be two or three million international visitors to the island by the end of this year.

As scheduled, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism are having a working session with the People’s Committee of Kien Giang province on the pilot plan on September 9.

A ticket for domestic tourism

Vietnam’s tourism revenue during the initial eight months of the year fell sharply by 61.8 percent to 4.5 trillion VND compared to the same period from last year, according to the figures released by the General Statistics Office (GSO).

A number of localities have experienced a downward trajectory in tourism revenue, including Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Thua Thien Hue, Nghe An, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho, and Quang Ninh, recording decreases of 89.1 percent, 82.4 percent, 63.9 percent, 66.1 percent, 52.2 percent, 50.3 percent, 47.1 percent, 41.9 percent, 29.8 percent, and 28.4 percent, respectively.

Due to social distancing measures implemented during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic tourists have declined by 5.5 percent to 31.2 million, with total tourism revenue during the reviewed period dropping 36.5 percent to VND136,520 billion.

Talking to Vietnamplus reporter, Head of the Secretariat of the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) Hoang Nhan Chinh said TAB researchers have proposed a pilot green travel pass programme in Vietnam./.