|The local sea tourism having suffered bad performance in many previous years has gradually revived in recent times and this year it even has strong expectation of achieving better growth, local agents said.
|A number of cruise ships operating in Asian regions have re-scheduled
regular routes to Vietnam while some others running on routes around the
world have begun dropping by a few small ports at home besides familiar
destinations like HCMC and Nha Trang.
ORION, an Australian five-star cruise ship with a capacity of 100
passengers, will take foreign visitors to a series of small seaports
like Phan Thiet, Phu Yen and Cat Ba, but will still drop anchor at Nha
Trang, HCMC and Can Tho. Such cruise ships have increasingly shown keen
interest in Vietnam.
Larger ships like Royal Caribbean, Costa Crociere S.P.A, StarCruises or
Silversea Cruises have mobilized more vessels or re-scheduled regular
calls at Vietnam.
Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursion, a tourism agent for numerous
foreign cruise ships including P&O Cruises from Britain, AIDACARA
from Germany, or Regent Cruises from America, said that the sea tourism
market had quite prospered last year but its real revival and
development has just begun this year.
Sharing the same idea with Anh of Viet Excursion, Vu Duy Vu, deputy
director of Saigontourist Travel Service Co., the country’s leading
company in terms of sea tourism, forecast the sea tourism sector would
gain stronger and more stable growth this year.
“Big contracts with StarCruises for about five months from late last
year have brought here hundreds of thousands of travelers besides those
on other ships that have still maintained the route to the nation during
this year,” Vu stated.
According to travel agencies, seaports in the central region such as
Thua Thien Hue and Danang have greatly attracted tourists by sea,
especially vessels from Hong Kong and Singapore.
Specially, Ha Long remains the most attractive destination as it is near
China, a highly-potential market for the sea tourism industry where
several ship operators have sent their vessels there. Also, it has an
advantageous location to go to other Northeast Asian markets like
Taiwan, South Korea or Japan.