Vietnam is striving to name itself among the group of countries which have most developed sea tourism in South East Asia, together with Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. From now to 2020, Vietnam needs to form up five sea tourism regions with high competitiveness, namely Ha Long-Cat Ba, Lang Co-Son Tra-Hoi An, Nha Trang-Cam Ranh, Phan Thiet-Mui Ne and Phu Quoc island.
Sea tourism development on the focus
According to Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), sea and island tourism brings 70 percent of total revenue of the tourism industry and it is considered one of the five important sectors to develop the sea-borne economy.
The action plan on sea and island tourism development by 2020 would be divided into two phases, 2011-2015 and 2016-2020. Concrete programm will be drawn up for every stage of development, including the programm on heightening the social awareness about sea tourism and conducting general survey on sea tourism resources, making investment to develop infrastructure for sea tourism and building up specific tourism products, building up brands and promoting sea tourism and carrying out international cooperation to develop sea tourism.
The year 2011 has been declared as the national sea and island tourism year at a ceremony in the Phu Yen province, which should be seen as an important milestone in the implementation of the plan to develop sea tourism.
Phan Dinh Hue, Director of Vong Tron Viet travel firm, said that previously, 4-5 star reports, especially on coastal areas and islands, mostly received foreigners. However, the number of Vietnamese tourists has been increasing considerably. Vietnamese big companies now tend to ask travel firms to organize customer’s conferences, or staff meetings at 4-5 star resorts, especially the ones located near famous destinations like Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hoi An and Mui Ne.
Vong Tron Viet served such groups of tourists, which included 200-300 guests in Da Nang and Hoi An ancient town in 2010, and the first months of 2011.
“The high number of Vietnamese guests should be seen as a good thing for tourist sites. Vietnamese people always travel in the low season for foreign tourists. As such, tourist sites can have guests to serve all year round,” Hue said.
He went on to say that foreign travelers still like staying at high grade resorts in Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc
According to Vietravel, Vung Tau and Nha Trang were the top choices for domestic travelers previously. Now many other destinations have also become favorites to them, such as Phu Quoc, Con Dao and Hoi An.
One of the services which have attracted a lot of clients recently, is visiting islands with helicopters. In fact, in 2007-2008, the service was once provided by travel firms in Ba Ria-Vung Tau and some northern localities. At that time, the demand was low due to the high service fees. However, the demand has increased recently.
The Vietnam Helicopter Corporation has joined forces with Vitours to provide tours with 24-seat MI 172 helicopters and 12-seat EC 155B1. With the service, travelers can do the sightseeing of Da Nang City, Son Tra peninsula and Cu Lao Cham from the air
Hue said that the demand always increases on weekends, which makes sea tourism centers overloaded. However, the biggest problem of the tourism sites is the lack and the low quality of services. Besides having sea bathing, travelers do not have the opportunities to go shopping or entertain themselves.
Meanwhile, some sea areas prove to have great potential to develop, but it is difficult to bring many travelers to the areas like Ha Tien, Hon Chong and Phu Quoc, due to the poor infrastructure, services or the lack of air routes.
The service fee increases on peak days which also cause big headaches to travel firms. A lot of tourism sites decide to raise service fees in the last minute just before the departure time. Hue said tourism sites can raise the fees on peak days, but the increases should not be higher than 50 percent of the fees applied to normal days and the increases should be informed in advance.
Updated : 01-05-2011 02:47:51
Source : TBKTVN