Vietnam suffers drop of 30% in int’l cruise passengers
Vietnam's target of welcoming 300,000 international cruise passengers this year, as once seen in the golden year of 2002, has been far beyond reach as actual arrivals will likely fall 30% year on year to only 150,000, an official said.
The sharp fall is attributed to a drop of up to 50% in the number of cruise passengers from China, as visitors from this market last year surged to 150,000 compared to the total number of 224,000.
The sharp fall is attributed to a drop of up to 50% in the number of cruise passengers from China, as visitors from this market last year surged to 150,000 compared to the total number of 224,000, according to the Travel Department of the National Administration of Tourism. In this year, just nearly 70,000 Chinese travelers are expected.
Vu The Binh, head of the department, told the Daily on Wednesday that most Chinese cruise passengers visited the country via the sea route in the northern region, especially via Quang Ninh Province. The sharp fall therefore hit northern travel firms hard, he said.
The travel department, however, still pins high hopes on arrivals from China, and will seek to lure guests from many other cities in the neighboring country, including Hainan Island, Fuchien and Shanghai, Binh said.
"We and some travel companies made a working trip to Hainan Island last month for developing the route between the island and Halong and opening other new routes to the country," he said.
Officials of the national tourism department last month also came to Singapore to meet the Singapore Tourism Board and a Singapore cruise company. During the trip, the Singapore partners pledged to help Vietnam develop the industry by sharing experiences in operating cruise terminals.
Pham Quang Hung, director of the International Cooperation Department, told the Daily that no terminals in Vietnam were designed to cater to the needs of cruise ships although the country needs to prepare for the cruise development.
Hung said the Singaporean consultants would make a fact-finding trip to Vietnam in February or March.
"First, they will make a survey to find suitable locations for such terminals," he said and explained that after the trip the two sides could make a deal for developing the industry.
Hung said the national tourism department would work with those companies with the potential to build cruise terminals and submit the scheme to the Government.
"We think that the country's tourism needs terminals in Quang Ninh, Danang and HCMC," he said.