As Vietnam prepares to reopen to foreign tourists on 15 March, concerns are growing among the tourism industry that Russian tourists, who once made up a significant portion of the foreigners visiting Vietnam, will be less likely to travel due to the conflict in Ukraine.
Vietnam has been recognized as a safe tourist destination without any restrictions for Russian visitors, according to recommendations by the Federal Agency for Tourism of Russia.
The tourism agency believes that some destinations, including several Latin American countries, are no longer available to local tourists due to restrictions on airspace by the EU and Canada.
Some 646,524 Russian tourists visited Vietnam in 2019, ranking sixth out of the top source countries for international visitors.
Meanwhile, according to the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Tourism Development Department, approximately 12,000 Russian tourists visited Laos in 2019.
Meanwhile, both Russian and Ukrainian tourists already visiting Thailand have been experiencing problems with their credit cards, making it impossible to pay for food and accommodations.
These situations do not bode well for Laos’ and Russia’s plan to increase tourism ties in the future, a plan which included the establishment of an ASEAN Single Window Visa to allow Russian citizens to more easily visit Laos and other ASEAN countries.
Laos’ ministry of foreign affairs has issued a statement calling for a peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the conflict.
After one round of peace talks between the two nations proved unsuccessful, another round of talks has been planned to take place in Belarus.