A bird view from Bà Nà Hills — SunGroup photo.
A study shows that 70 per cent of international visitors to Việt Nam come for tourism. Spending on entertainment services accounts for only 11.9 per cent of the total trip cost (too modest compared to the 50 per cent to 70 per cent rate achieved by Malaysia and Thailand).
The lack of attractive products is an ugly truth that Vietnamese tourism has been struggling to solve for many years. Therefore, despite being the sixth fastest growing destination in the world in 2017, the revenue from Việt Nam’s tourism is still far below neighbouring countries.
Ten years ago, when Đà Nẵng launched Bà Nà Hills tourist area, the smokeless industry of Việt Nam was struggling. The negative impact of the global economic crisis in 2008 caused a decrease in the number of international tourists to Việt Nam in 2009, only approximately 3.8 million people. Among them, only 300,000 went to Đà Nẵng.
Besides the crisis, Đà Nẵng didn't have anything attractive enough to hold the visitors except for its beautiful beaches. Throughout Việt Nam at that time, only HCM City had two major amusement parks: Đầm Sen Cultural Park and Suối Tiên Cultural Tourism Area.
The lack of entertainment experiences is one of the reasons that Đà Nẵng was a "transfer station" for tourists to Huế and Hội An for many years.
The first brick for the entertainment industry
On the opening day of Bà Nà’s cable car, many local people still remember the long queues of thousands waiting to get a ride. Over the past 10 years, Bà Nà has now become a reason for people to go to Đà Nẵng.
Spectacular scenery like a paradise, French Village as "a miniature Paris", the Golden Bridge (Cầu Vàng) and a variety of festivals have created a miracle in Bà Nà Hills, which is to make visitors come back many times, instead of just once.
In 2015, when the number of international visitors to Việt Nam declined for 11 months, the number of visitors to Đà Nẵng increased spectacularly by 33.1 per cent. That success was greatly contributed to by Bà Nà Hills.
TransViet Travel’s deputy director said that "thanks to Bà Nà Hills, the number of tourists to Đà Nẵng has really exploded".
Over the past 10 years, visitors to Bà Nà increased 160 times, the number of people coming to Đà Nẵng increased to 463 per cent. According to statistics, for every three foreign visitors who book tours to this beautiful coastal city, there are two who want to check out the Golden Bridge. These numbers are really impressive!
Inspire and spread
For a decade after the Bà Nà Hills milestone, Việt Nam's tourism industry has transformed. Approximately 15.5 million international visitors arrived in the nation in 2018. Nearly 7.3 million international visitors have come to Việt Nam in the first five months of 2019.
In 2016, 1.28 million foreign visitors chose to explore Đà Nẵng, four times more than in 2009. Since then, international visitors to Đà Nẵng grew 25 per cent per year, tourism revenue increased by 30.6 per cent annually.
In 2018, there were 7.6 million visitors coming here and in the first three months of 2019, that number was 1.8 million.
Previously, tourists focused on visiting, sightseeing, exploring new lands and cultures. But today, when the economy grows and integration into the world is deeper, people’s needs also gradually change. Attractive tourist destinations also have to integrate interesting recreational facilities for visitors’ vacation as a series of impressive experiences.
Leisure tourism is also becoming an inevitable trend. This trend not only creates new experiences to attract tourists but also a "gold mine" for countries and investors if they know how to make good use of it. The success of the 14 Disney Land theme parks is a clear proof.
Việt Nam's entertainment and tourism, after the appearance of Bà Nà Hills, has many signs of prosperity.
Sun Group has five parks across three regions, from Sun World Danang Wonders (Đà Nẵng), Sun World Fansipan Legend (Lào Cai) or Sun World Halong Complex (Quảng Ninh) to Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park (Phú Quốc).
Vingroup hsd also deployed Vinpearl Land model in destinations such as Nha Trang and Phú Quốc.
Arena has deployed a complex of entertainment - events called Arena Cam Ranh.
The foundation for an entertainment industry in Việt Nam today was inspired by Bà Nà Hills of Sun Group.