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Stronger development expected for sea tourism

The local sea tourism having suffered bad performance in many previous years has gradually revived in recent times and this year it even has strong expectation of achieving better growth, local agents said.

A number of cruise ships operating in Asian regions have re-scheduled regular routes to Vietnam while some others running on routes around the world have begun dropping by a few small ports at home besides familiar destinations like HCMC and Nha Trang.

ORION, an Australian five-star cruise ship with a capacity of 100 passengers, will take foreign visitors to a series of small seaports like Phan Thiet, Phu Yen and Cat Ba, but will still drop anchor at Nha Trang, HCMC and Can Tho. Such cruise ships have increasingly shown keen interest in Vietnam.

Larger ships like Royal Caribbean, Costa Crociere S.p.A, StarCruises or Silversea Cruises have mobilized more vessels or re-scheduled regular calls at Vietnam.

Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursion, a tourism agent for numerous foreign cruise ships including P&O Cruises from Britain, AIDACARA from Germany, or Regent Cruises from America, said that the sea tourism market had quite prospered last year but its real revival and development has just begun this year.

Sharing the same idea with Anh of Viet Excursion, Vu Duy Vu, deputy director of Saigontourist Travel Service Co., the country’s leading company in terms of sea tourism, forecast the sea tourism sector would gain stronger and more stable growth this year.

“Big contracts with StarCruises for about five months from late last year have brought here hundreds of thousands of travelers besides those on other ships that have still maintained the route to the nation during this year,” Vu stated.

According to travel agencies, seaports in the central region such as Thua Thien Hue and Danang have greatly attracted tourists by sea, especially vessels from Hong Kong and Singapore.

Specially, Ha Long remains the most attractive destination as it is near China, a highly-potential market for the sea tourism industry where several ship operators have sent their vessels there. Also, it has an advantageous location to go to other Northeast Asian markets like Taiwan, South Korea or Japan.

SGT

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