Vietnam welcomes fewest foreign arrivals in years hinh anh 1Ta Hien Street in downtown Hanoi, normally crowded with foreigners. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Foreign arrivals to Vietnam totalled just 880,000 in June, the lowest figure in many years, as the country maintained a ban on the entry of foreigners that was introduced in March to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The figure was 61.3 percent lower than in May and 99.3 percent against June last year.

Most foreigners that did arrive were experts or skilled workers at projects around the country.

In the first half the number of foreign visitors plunged 55.8 percent to 3.74 million, with 72.9 percent coming from Asia.

Sharp declines have been seen in visitors from Vietnam’s major markets, such as China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan (China), Russia, the UK, and France, while those from Cambodia doubled compared to the same period last year.

The country earned 10.3 trillion VND (445.26 million USD) in revenue from tourism during the period, down 53.2 percent year-on-year, with the hardest-hit localities being the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, which saw tourism revenue nosedive by 73.5 percent, HCM City, by 71.2 percent, southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, by 66.2 percent, and northern Quang Ninh province, by 60.8 percent.

A tourism promotion campaign called “Vietnamese People Travel in Vietnam” was launched in April to encourage local travellers to take domestic tours, while travel agencies are making preparations to welcome foreign tourists once the entry ban is lifted./.