14:25 | 03/01/2019 Society
(VEN) - Vietnam welcomes about 300,000 foreign visitors from almost 500 cruise ships per year on average, accounting for 2-3 percent of the country’s total, according to Ngo Hoai Chung, Deputy Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT). With improved seaport infrastructure and services, Vietnam is gradually becoming more responsive to the requirements of world leading cruise ship operators and turning into an increasingly attractive destination for cruise passengers, Chung said.
Vietnam has many advantages for cruise ship tourism, including its location in the center of Southeast Asia and along Asia’s north-south maritime route, easy-to-reach position on operating routes of foreign cruise firms, rich tourist resources, more than 3,200km of coastline with many beautiful beaches, more than 3,000 islands of all sizes, and improved infrastructure.
Many seaports in Vietnam, including Hon Gai in Quang Ninh Province, Chan May (Thua Thien Hue Province), Tien Sa (Da Nang), and Dam Mon (Van Phong Bay, Khanh Hoa Province), have become regular stops for major cruise firms. Several major Vietnamese economic groups have invested in developing ports for tourism development. Recently, the Ha Long international passenger port in Quang Ninh Province, for example, went into operation to attract cruise ship visitors.
Investment by all economic sectors
Deputy Director of the Ministry of Transport’s Transport Department Nguyen Cong Bang said localities with ports should encourage enterprises to develop ports specifically designed for welcoming foreign cruise ship passengers. James Ngui, Manager, Port Operations South East Asia of Royal Caribbean Cruises, said Vietnam should learn from other countries’ experiences to increase connectivity between port managers and tour operators, shipping companies, service providers, and shopping and entertainment centers in order to attract cruise ship visitors.
VNAT Deputy Head Ngo Hoai Chung said Vietnam has great potential to develop cruise ship tourism and will focus on market research, simplify administrative procedures, enhance the application of information technology in immigration control, improve and diversify tourist offerings, and encourage investment from all economic sectors rather than relying only on state capital.
Ngo Hoai Chung, Deputy Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said Vietnam’s cruise
tourism development remains incommensurate with its potential. The country should develop this sector to attract
more high-income visitors, he said.