ASEAN Countries Reopen Regional Tourism

ASEAN Countries Reopen Regional Tourism

ASEAN member states are stepping up to attract international visitors and not to be left behind in the post-COVID-19 recovery.

The 25th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers was held in January 2022 in Sihanoukville, Kingdom of Cambodia.  During their statement, the participants stressed that the ASEAN tourism sector is not only ready for reopening but will also bounce back quickly with more resilience.



The statement said the ministers agreed to announce the reopening of ASEAN tourism, both intra-regional and international, noting that every possible coordination and cooperation will be implemented so that the reopening process will be gradual and steady.

Dragon dance to welcome the Lunar New Year in Bangkok, Thailand on January 31, 2022. Photo:AFP/ VNA

They also reached a consensus on the application of a standardized COVID-19 vaccination recognition system among the regional countries, while welcoming the progressive roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination in each ASEAN member nation, which is a key indicator for the regional tourism’s reopening. The ministers underlined the need to further strengthen intra-bloc tourism cooperation to ensure that ASEAN remains competitive in this industry.

The end of 2021 should be the time when many countries around the world open their doors to international tourists again after nearly two years, but the appearance of the Omicron variant has caused the tourism industry to once again have to slowdown. However, by 2022, plans to open the doors to tourists have been restarted. The latest is the policy implemented by the Philippines starting on February 10.




After nearly two years of border closure due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines from February 10 began to open its doors to international tourists who have been vaccinated without quarantine requirement. Fully vaccinated COVID-19 travelers from 157 visa-exempt countries and territories only need to test negative 48 hours upon arrival in the Philippines. This tourist visa-free list includes many of the Philippines' top markets such as the US, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK.

Along with Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia which have opened before, the Philippines is the latest country to open its doors to international visitors to revive the tourism industry affected during the pandemic.


The Yen Tu Complex of Monuments and Landscapes attracted numerous visitors in the Lunar New Year of the Tiger. Photo: VNA

Indonesia has opened the island of Bali to all international visitors since February 4. Meanwhile, this month, Thailand also resumed the "Test and Go" program - a travel mechanism without quarantine. But It only requires tourists to inject full doses of vaccines and buy insurance of payment at least 50,000 US dollars. 




Malaysia's National Council for Recovery said on February 8 that it would advise the Prime Minister of the country on fully opening international borders to all visitors who received the COVID-19 vaccine from March 1 without quarantine. It is expected that Malaysia will only require visitors to be tested for COVID-19 before flying and after entry.

In Vietnam, the Government has agreed with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s proposal to fully reopen international tourism activities in the new normal, starting from March 15 after two years of COVID-19-triggered border closures.