The Silver Spirit Cruise, which sailed from Hong Kong, arrived in Ha Long, Quang Ninh Province at 7:30 a.m Sunday, with 500 American and European tourists on board.
To welcome the first international visitors of the Lunar New Year, Cao Tuong Huy, acting chairman of the Quang Ninh People’s Committee, presented the tourists with flowers and lucky money. Huy also introduced them to famous tourist and heritage sites such as Ha Long Bay and the hospitality of the Quang Ninh People. The tourists on the Silver Spirit were impressed with the natural landscape and fresh atmosphere during their journey to Ha Long.
International tourists on Silver Spirit Cruise are welcomed to Quang Ninh on January 22, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Do Phuong
Josephine, an American tourist, said she had done her research and that she was interested in the beauty of Ha Long Bay.
“I will spend a day in Ha Long to experience the culture and the cuisine of the Vietnamese during Tet, and will visit Ha Long Bay and the pagodas,” she said. “I will take many photos to show to my family when I return home.”
Quang Ninh has a lot of potential to develop cruise tourism, due to its synchronized port system and many famous sites located on an important maritime traffic route in Asia. It’s suitable for connecting cruise routes in the region and the world. It’s also close to China, a potential market for cruise tourism.
According to experts, Ha Long is also the closest point to other North Asia markets like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, and therefore has a high possibility of attracting cruise tourism to the area.
Da Nang International Airport is also welcomed over 100 international tourists. At 9:10 a.m. on the same day, flights carrying visitors from Thailand, Croatia and South Korea landed at the airport.
Tourists were welcomed with traditional performances, souvenirs and lucky money. Abenza, 32, from Thailand, said that she visited Central Vietnam 10 years ago but had not yet come to Da Nang.
A group of Thai tourists arrived at the Da Nang International Airport on January 22, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
“On this five-day trip, I will go to Ba Na Hills and other attractions, then spend a day in Hoi An Ancient Town,” she said.
Abenza came with her boyfriend Vili, a 28-year-old Croatian and a few Thai friends. “We came here during Tet, a traditional holiday in Vietnam, so we want to send our best wishes to everyone,” she added.
Towfie, another Thai tourist, said this is also her first time in Da Nang.
“I was lucky to get a free ticket for my next flight,” she said. “In the future, I will return to Da Nang with my family.”.
Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy director of the Da Nang Tourism Department, said that international tourists arrived in Vietnam on the first day of Tet was a positive sign and raised expectations of a boom year for tourism, which was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Da Nang has prepared carefully for this first flight to create the best experience for the tourists.
“With great preparation, we hope that in 2023, the city can achieve the same number of visitors as in 2019,” Binh said. He added that the city has many attractions and only needs good coordination from the people, the authorities and enterprises for tourism to prosper here.
According to airline statistics, the number of flights to Da Nang during Tet is 768, with nearly 100,000 visitors, of which, the number of international tourists is 42,000, with a frequency of 46 flights a day.