Data from the Asia Cruise Trends report released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) shows that the number of Vietnamese going on cruise trips abroad last year soared to 59,000, 38 times up from as recently as 2012.
This makes Vietnamese among the most promising groups of customers in the fastest-growing Asian cruise market, the report said.
The boom has been attributed to the country’s economic growth.
GDP growth reached 6.98 percent between January and September. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc early last week told the ongoing National Assembly session that the economy is likely to expand 6.7 percent in 2018.
This year’s estimated per capita GDP of $2,540 marks a $440 increase over 2015, the PM said.
A World Bank report last year said the country is seeing an increasing number of people, estimated at 1.5 million each year, join the ranks of the middle and upper classes.
“As Vietnam’s economy grows, and an increasing number of citizens join the ranks of the global middle and upper classes, more people are going to take an interest in traveling the world,” Sean Preston, Visa country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, said.
Data from the CLIA report shows that the average age of Vietnamese going on a cruise overseas is around 42 and they spend an average of four days on a trip. But 10 percent go on longer trips of seven to 13 days.
Nearly 80 percent of Vietnamese travelers expressed interest in visiting cruise destinations in Asia, followed by the Caribbean (7 percent), Alaska (6 percent), Europe (3.5 percent), and Australia (1 percent), the report added.
With its own 3,000-km long coastline and exotic local culture, Vietnam has received 493 visits by foreign cruise ships this year, a 20 percent increase from a year ago, to rank fourth among the most-visited cruise destinations in Asia, according to the 2018 Asia Cruise Trends report.
A cruise ship near rock islands in the famous Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh. Photo by ShutterShock/Tung Duong
Japan topped the list with 2,601 visits, followed by China (1,021) and Thailand (581).
A survey by cruise travel site Seahub, which last year studied nearly 1.8 million Instagram posts tagged on various ships and ports around the world, named Vietnam among the 15 most Instagrammed global cruise destinations.
Last year U.S. lifestyle magazine Food and Wine named a cruise in Vietnam one of the 11 best trips across the globe for retirees.