16:31 | 08/07/2014 Entertainment
(VEN) - The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Republic of the Philippines Department of Tourism have signed a cooperation plan for cruise ship tourism development in the 2014-2016 period, which will probably open prospects for domestic cruise ship tourism development.
Big advantages in cruise ship tourism development
Vietnam has favorable conditions to develop cruise ship tourism thanks to its 3,200km long coastline and key position for easy connectivity with modern global seaport centers such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
In recent years, this enormous potential has been gradually exploited. In 1999, Super Star Leo, the first 5-star cruise ship of the Malaysia based Star Cruises firm, with total capacity of 3,000 guests, docked at Saigon Port. In addition to the Star Cruises firm, many other renowned shipping companies such as Hapag Lloyd Cruises, Phoenix Cruises, Saga Shipping, and Orion Expedition Cruises have also taken tourists to Vietnam. During the 1999-2013 period, Vietnam welcomed nearly three million cruise ship passengers.
According to Dr. Do Cam Tho from the National Administration of Tourism’s Institute for Tourism Research and Development, Vietnam has regional comparative advantages in sea tourism development. Vietnam’s coastal and marine tourism products are developing and promise to have a quite long life cycle. In addition, differences in the domestic coastal and marine tourism products from regional countries will be considered as a competitive edge to attract tourists.
Boosted investmentin cruise ship tourism development
“With current marine tourism potential, beach resorts in the central region can compare with their famous counterparts in the region such as Bali in Indonesia, and Pattaya and Phuket in Thailand,” Do Cam Tho said. However, according to Chairman of the Asia Cruise Association Kevin Leong, Vietnam has great potential for cruise ship tourism development but this potential has not yet received commensurate investment. Vietnam currently does not have cruise ship dedicated ports, hindering the development of tourism in Vietnam.
To boost marine tourism, the tourism industry and the relevant authorities have stepped up upgrading cruise ship dedicated infrastructure. The prime minister also approved the adjustment of Vietnam’s seaport system development plan until 2020 with vision towards 2030. The total funding for the plan is estimated at VND80-100 trillion (excluding investment funds for special use docks and wharves); of which, funding for public seaport infrastructure was estimated at VND40-50 trillion.
In addition to promoting investment, Vietnam has also promoted cooperation with other ASEAN countries. According to the Vietnam-Philippines tourism development collaborative plan for the 2014-2016 period, the two sides will work together to develop programs to promote and call for investments in cruise ship tourism development in each country. The Philippines will bring more cruise ship passengers to Vietnam’s luxury resorts and Vietnamese tourists to famous resorts in the world./.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan said “The Philippines is known as a country with the most developed cruise ship tourism in Asia, welcoming thousands of cruise ships. Meanwhile, Vietnam is a country with a long coastline perfect for developing sea resort tourism. The bilateral cruise ship tourism cooperation will benefit the tourism industries of the two countries, enhancing bilateral cultural exchanges and friendship.”
By Thanh Tam