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Da Nang urged to follow Vegas

Update: December, 15/2014 - 09:24

Developing tourism: The cruise Europa 2 docks at Tien Sa Port in Da Nang in March. Dozens of experts contributed their opinions on how to lure more tourists to this central city during the Saturday conference. — Photo vietnamtourism.gov.vn

DA NANG (VNS) — The central city of Da Nang needed Las Vegas-style "entertainment centres" to lure tourists, speakers told a conference on Saturday co-hosted by Duy Tan University and San Jose State University.

"The city needs to build more hotels and entertainment centres following the example of Las Vegas in the US, which has 39 million tourists and revenue of US$9.7 billion. The city should develop its own show based on local culture and heritage," said Tsu-Hong Yen from San Jose State University's department of hospitality management.

According to Duy Tan University deputy rector Le Duc Toan, tourism accounts for 10.94 per cent of Da Nang's revenue. The sector employs 69,000 people, 14.7 per cent of those working in the city. However, he said the city had yet to build "international-standard centres for sports, shopping, trade, night recreation and finance".

Moreover, while international hotel chains such as Novotel, Intercontinental, Hyatt Regency and Furama had already opened in the city, he argued that the tourism industry had "a long way to develop".

Vice chairman of the city's People's Committee Huynh Duc Tho said the city had "major potential" for tourism, given its location near tourist destinations such as Hoi An, My Son Sanctuary, the Hue Monument Complex and Phong Nha-Ke Bang. The tourism industry was expected to contribute 15 to 20 per cent of the city's total revenue in 2020, he said.

Tran Van Xuan from West Florida University said a survey revealed that Vietnamese domestic tourists were the biggest spenders, ahead of Chinese, Japanese, Americans and French.

"The survey also estimated that domestic tourists in Viet Nam would total 40 million in 2020 and spend $35 each per day. Weather and leisure are the major reasons that domestic tourists travel," Xuan said.

Peter Dyder, general manager of Indochina Capital, said the city should create more international-standard tourist attractions and events like the Iron-Man Triathlon or Da Nang Formula One race weekend.

The city welcomed three million tourists this year, including 700,000 foreigners, earning VND7.8 trillion ($371 million).

Da Nang has attracted 60 tourism projects, 13 of which are foreign-invested, with total capital of $4 billion. The city has 22,000 tourism workers, 40 per cent of whom are unskilled. — VNS



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