Tourism has good start for 2015
The tourism sector recorded soaring volumes of tourists in both foreign and domestic markets during the first four days of 2015, a good sign for the year ahead.
The success was attributable to a long, uninterrupted New Year holiday from January 1 to January 4 in combination with an almost-2-month gap until the next long holiday of the traditional New Year (Tet).
Major tourism destinations nationwide saw crowds of holiday makers in the period. In the popular mountain resort town of Sa Pa in northern Lao Cai province, all hotels were filled to capacity. The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Quang Binh province saw nearly 1,000 visitors, up nearly three-fold from the same period last year. The central province of Thua Thien-Hue, home to the World Cultural Heritage site of Hue Imperial Citadel, attracted some 65,000 holidaymakers, 60 percent of whom were foreigners. Meanwhile, as many as 63,000 people, including 33,000 foreigners, spent their holidays in the central beach city of Da Nang, a year-on-year 32 percent increase.
Many travel companies enjoyed brisk business. Vietravel, a well-known Ho Chi Minh-based tour operator, said it hosted 13,000 people during the four-day holiday, a rise of 15 percent compared to the same period in 2014. Notably, the number of foreign customers shot up by 320 percent against last year.
According to Saigontourist, another famous travel agency from the south, more than 30,000 customers from Vietnam and other countries booked its tours until the end of January with booking from overseas accounting for 70 percent of the tours.
In particular, the company served 3,500 visitors who came on luxury cruise ships during the first days of the new year. More cruise liners are scheduled to call at Vietnamese destinations this month, including the Azamara Quest, the Costa Victoria and Celebrity Century.