Good signs from maritime tourism
Update: Aug 16, 2012
In the first seven months of this year, as many as 3.83 millions of foreign visitors traveled to Vietnam. Of these, the number of tourists traveling via sea routes increased almost 55 percent compared with the corresponding period of last year. This impressive data offers bright prospects for Vietnam's maritime tourism.

According to statistics released from Da Nang's Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, although Tien Sa Port in central Da Nang city is not designed for cruise ships arrivals, as many as 39 foreign cruise ships have docked at the port since the beginning of this year with nearly 18,000 visitors, up more than 200 percent compared with same period of last year.


The Saigon Travel and Service Company (Saigontourist) reported that during the period, the company has served 145,000 maritime tourists coming to Vietnam, up more than 450 percent year on year. A majority of tourists came from the US, EU and Japan. There were delegations of up to 3,000-4,000 visitors and they came mainly on MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tours. With an increase in experience serving big maritime tourist groups and the abundances of tours and services, maritime tourism is the key strength of the company.


In Quang Ninh Province, reports from the Provincial Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism showed that, since this year's beginning (especially after Ha Long Bay became the world's new natural wonder), the number of foreign visitors coming to Ha Long by luxury cruise ships has sharply increased. They mainly came from the US, the Netherlands, France, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Republic of Korea and most of them also combined conference and team-building during their trips to the bay.


As for Nha Trang City in Khanh Hoa Province, it is regarded as the most impressive destination for maritime tourists. The city has developed diverse forms of beach tourism and maritime activities such as scuba diving, mud bath, water sports, enjoy a view of the bay from a balloon floating 150 meters high, cuisine services and many fine handicrafts articles. However, tourists seem to enjoy tours to the islands around Nha Trang Bay.


To attract more maritime tourists to Nha Trang, the Provincial People's Committee has submitted organization project of Vietnam international sea tourism fair 2013 to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism for approval. This is a good opportunity to attract foreign visitors to Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa and Vietnam in general. According to the project, apart from honoring tour operators contributing to promoting and attracting tourists to Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa, the fair will also hold Vietnam leading sea tourism award ceremony, which is expected to draw more foreign maritime tourists to the province, especially those coming by luxury cruise ships.


With good signs from increasing number of maritime tourists to Vietnam, tourism experts recommended travel businesses to design more attractive tour packages as well as facilitate tourists to have easy approaches to a comprehensive service network. In that way, Vietnam's maritime tourism will surely witness a boom in near future.