Demand for cruise holidays rises

The number of cruise ships that have set anchor at the Chan May port since January 1 has surged 50% on-year, according to the Thua Thien-Hue Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Director Phan Tien Dung added that they carried nearly 70,000 passengers. On February 25 alone, a cruise ship carrying nearly 700 holidaymakers from the US, Canada, UK, and Turkey, docked at the port.

After disembarking, the holidaymakers toured the province cultural and historical heritage sites and Hoi An ancient town as well as spent time sightseeing in Danang.

Danang – A world’s best travel destination

Danang has long been viewed as the place travellers pass through in order to get to historic Hoi An, but has now earned its place as a top travel destination for 2015, says leading entertainment website TheRichest.

Danang’s charm and incredible food is something that everyone should experience the website said, adding that with direct flights from Hong Kong, it is fairly easy to access.

Unique and newly developed hotels allow tourists to experience a cultured and exciting vacation worthy of a 2015 trip.

The Richest named Danang City sixth in its world’s top 10 most improved cities to visit in 2015.

Central coastal provinces attract visitors during New Year holidays

The central Quang Nam province, home to two UNESCO-recognised world cultural heritage sites of Hoi An ancient town and My Son Sanctuary, welcomed over 83,000 tourists during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday.

The total figure represented a year-on-year increase of 11 percent. Foreign visitors numbered around 35,000.

Meanwhile, central Quang Ngai province saw a record number of visitors – 3,500 - to its Ly Son island, a new tourist destination during the holiday.

Ly Son island is well known for relics related to naval soldiers from the Nguyen Dynasty who were assigned with missions to patrol and protect Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago. The relics include Hoang Sa Bac Hai flotilla memorial and exhibition house and empty tombs for soldiers who died at sea.

The island hosts an annual boat racing festival between the fourth and eighth day of the Lunar New Year to wish for peace and prosperity for the people and to commemorate ancestors and Hoang Sa (Paracel) soldiers who protect the country's sea and islands.

The festival dates back more than 300 years ago to the Nguyen Dynasty, when it was organised to choose the healthiest men for the team of Hoang Sa soldiers.

Chan May port welcomes first cruise ships of Lunar New Year

Cruise liner Silver Wisper from the Bahamas docked at Chan May port in central Thua Thien-Hue province on February 25, carrying 552 passengers and 300 crewmembers.

The luxury liner is the first to arrive to the port in the Lunar Year of the Goat.

After docking, visitors joined tours to discover monuments, landscapes and cuisine in Thua Thien-Hue province, Da Nang, and Hoi An Ancient Town.

In 2015, over 40 cruise ships with 67,000 international tourists and 29,000 crew had registered to arrive at Chan May port, doubling the figures of last year.

Hanoi sees 8 pct rise in tourist numbers during Tet

Hanoi welcomed 270,000 domestic tourists and 70,083 foreign tourists during the nine-day lunar New Year holiday (February 15-23), up 8 percent from the same period last year.

According to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, tourism revenues reached nearly 950 billion VND (44.65 million USD) in the period.

During the festival, numerous events were organised to introduce the traditional culture of the city and Vietnam at large, including fireworks performance, exhibitions and fairs. Travel agencies also offered tourists a number of options to attractive destinations in the city.

The department said that the image of the capital city has been increasingly improved in the eyes of visitors. Together with promotion activities, the city has developed a wide range of products and services to attract more visitors.

It is working to turn the Ba Vi-Suoi Hai site into a national tourist centre and develop community-based tourism in seven mountainous villages in Hanoi’s outlying district of Ba Vi.

Attention has also been paid to conserving relic sites like Ngoc Son temple on Hoan Kiem lake, Hoa Lo prison and the Temple of Literature, and protecting the environment and ensuring safety for tourists.

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has intensified cooperation with the Departments of Transport, and Industry and Trade, and the Police to improve the quality of tourist services, ensure food safety and prevent unlicensed taxis and cheating acts.

In 2014, Hanoi welcomed 3 million tourists, a 16 percent increase from 2013.

Tourists flock to Binh Thuan and Dak Lak during Tet

The central provinces of Binh Thuan and Dak Lak saw a strong increase of tourists during the nine-day Lunar New Year Festival (Tet).

According to Binh Thuan’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, around 75,000 tourists, including 22,000 international visitors, visited prominent destinations in the province.

Tourists made their way to the beaches of Hon Rom, Bay Trang, Tuy Phong, and La Gi as well as resort areas in Ham Thuan and Mui Ne. The seafront Ham Tien-Mui Ne and the centre of Phan Thiet city are traditionally the most crowded.

The majority of foreign visitors came from Russia, Germany, Australia and France.

Meanwhile, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak also saw 47,000 local and international visitors to tourist sites in the province during Tet, a 21 percent increase from last year.

The highest traffic sites from February 20-23 included Nga Sau Ban Me, the March 10 Square, the provincial children culture house’s park, the Dak Lak water park, the Biet Dien Museum, the Khai Doan Pogoda, and the Buon Don, Ko Tam, and Lak Lake tourism areas.

Central coastal provinces attract visitors during New Year holidays

The central Quang Nam province, home to two UNESCO-recognised world cultural heritage sites of Hoi An ancient town and My Son Sanctuary, welcomed over 83,000 tourists during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday.

The total figure represented a year-on-year increase of 11 percent. Foreign visitors numbered around 35,000.

Meanwhile, central Quang Ngai province saw a record number of visitors – 3,500 - to its Ly Son island, a new tourist destination during the holiday.

Ly Son island is well known for relics related to naval soldiers from the Nguyen Dynasty who were assigned with missions to patrol and protect Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago. The relics include Hoang Sa Bac Hai flotilla memorial and exhibition house and empty tombs for soldiers who died at sea.

The island hosts an annual boat racing festival between the fourth and eighth day of the Lunar New Year to wish for peace and prosperity for the people and to commemorate ancestors and Hoang Sa (Paracel) soldiers who protect the country's sea and islands.

The festival dates back more than 300 years ago to the Nguyen Dynasty, when it was organised to choose the healthiest men for the team of Hoang Sa soldiers.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang greets over 15,000 tourists on New Year days

Over 15,000 holiday-makers visited the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh during the first five days of the Year of the Goat (February 19-23), up over 10 percent against the same period last year.

Phong Nha and Tien Son caves were the most attractive destinations in the park, drawing nearly 8,900 visitors.

Le Thanh Loi, Director of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang Tourism Centre, said his agency offered a 10 percent discount on food and services at the centre’s restaurants, while adding traditional dishes to restaurant’s menu during the holiday.

During the occasion, historical and spiritual tourist sites in the province such as Than Dinh Mountain, Tam Co cave, Lieu Hanh princess temple also attracted a large number of tourists.

Established in 2001, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is among the 238 most important ecological zones in the world. It was recognised by the UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site on geological and geomorphologic criteria in 2003.

Recently, the Vietnam Records Organisation listed four tourism sites in Quang Binh amongst the top 50 must-see travel destinations in Vietnam, including Phong Nha Cave, Ngang Pass, Nhat Le Beach and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

With the opening of Son Doong Cave in 2013, Quang Binh was instantly catapulted onto the bucket lists of travellers all over the world.

The New York Times named Quang Binh as one of the most attractive destinations in Asia and ranked it eighth out of the world’s 52 must-see sites for 2014, while US magazine Business Insider included Son Doong Cave in its list of the 12 most impressive caves.

Thousands of visitors to Dong Van Karst Plateau Geo-Park during Tet

Nearly 5,500 domestic and foreign holiday-makers made visits to Dong Van Karst Plateau Geo-Park in the northern province of Ha Giang during the nine-day lunar New Year (Tet) festival, generating over 5.5 billion VND (235,000 USD) for the tourism sector.

Dong Van plateau was recognised as a member of the Global Network of National Geoparks in 2010, becoming Vietnam’s first geological park and the second in Southeast Asia. Four years after the recognition, big changes have been made to the appearance of four districts in the plateau in particular and Ha Giang province in general.

About 1,600 metres above sea level, the plateau covers a total area of 2,356 km2, stretching across Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac districts. It is 80 percent limestone and contains the fossils of thousands of species of prehistoric creatures from 400-600 million years ago.

Visitors to the plateau are not only impressed by the stunning view but also have a chance to enrich their knowledge about traditional customs and culture of 17 different ethnic groups living in the area.

Thanks to its unique features, the number of vacationers to Dong Van plateau more than doubled to 650,000 visitors in 2014 from 300,000 people in 2010.

In a bid to improve services for tourists, local authorities have organised numerous cultural activities while increasing the monitoring of hotels and other service providers, and ensuring security and safety in the locality.

Tourist enterprises also implemented many promotion activities to lure the attention of domestic and foreign visitors to the site.

In recent years, Ha Giang province has worked hard to attract investment to the plateau, contributing to popularise its image globally and build a brand name for the provincial tourism sector.