Ha Noi: First foreign visitors of 2018 receive warm welcome
Update: Jan 02, 2018
Lebreton Didier, a passenger on Vietnam Airlines’ flight VN18 which landed at Noi Bai International Airport on the morning of January 1, became the first foreign visitor setting foot in Ha Noi in 2018.  

 Lebreton Didier, a passenger on Vietnam Airlines’ flight VN18,
became the first foreign visitor setting foot in Ha Noi in 2018

Didier and his group of 13 other visitors from France were treated to flowers and gifts and a music performance.

The French said that this is the third time he came to Viet Nam and he plans to spend almost a month to discover the country’s beauty with his wife, adding that he was surprised by the warm welcome on the first day of the year.

Present at the greeting ceremony, Tran Duc Hai, Director of the municipal Department of Tourism noted that the event aims to promote Ha Noi as a safe, friendly, quality and attractive destination for visitors.

Last year, some 5 million foreigners came to the thousand-year-old city of Ha Noi.

The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, home to the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay, also held a ceremony to greet the year’s first international tourists at Tuan Chau International Port in Ha Long city on January 1.

In 2018, the locality expects to welcome 12 million visitors, including 5 million foreigners. Last year, nearly 10 million holiday-makers, comprising 4.2 million foreigners, chose Quang Ninh province to spend their holidays.

Meanwhile, the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai also enjoyed a good start for 2018, with renowned Sa Pa town drawing 42,000 visitors during the three-day New Year holiday from December 30-January 1.

The crowds of visitors caused traffic jams and overloaded local hotels. The town’s nearly 500 accommodation facilities with more than 6,000 rooms were fully booked, but homestays are available at village or tourism site like Cat Cat and Ta Van.

A slew of cultural and sports activities are being organised in the town on New Year occasion, including a photo exhibition, a street festival, and traditional games like tug of war and stick pushing.