|The 2017 Nha Trang Sea Festival opened on Saturday night in the central province of Khánh Hòa. — Photo vtv.vn|
KHÁNH HÒA — The 2017 Nha Trang Sea Festival, themed "Extending the Circle of Friendship", opened Saturday night in the central province of Khánh Hòa, with a wide array of artistic, cultural and sporting activities.
This year’s festival is expected to host as many as 50 art performances, exhibitions, sporting competitions and food events, the highest number of activities since its inception. The festival is expected to welcome 150,000 visitors.
The festival will include performances of art troupes from the provinces of Đắk Lắk, Thừa Thiên–Huế and Bạc Liêu, as well as five foreign troupes from Spain, France, South Korea, Australia and Russia.
The event will also include a street festival, lion and dragon dances, a fishing competition, and a cooking contest.
Chefs from the Nha Trang Tourism College will attempt to make the largest ever seafood hotpot recognised by the Việt Nam Guinness organisation.
Tourists will have opportunities to learn about Việt Nam through special events such as Trường Sa Photo Exhibition, Khmer Cultural Exhibition, art kite flying festival, and the traditional Fish Worshipping Festival, among others.
The event will also feature a beach volleyball tournament, a beach football tournament, and various folk games, such as walking on stilts, chess and rope skipping.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy PM Vũ Đức Đam said the festival aims to honour the beauty of the coastal city, thus promoting the tourism potential in Khánh Hoà Province.
Local authorities have asked agencies to take measures to stabilise prices and ensure food safety and healthcare for visitors during the festival. Almost all the three to five-star hotels in the city have been booked, local authorities said.
The festival has been held biennially since its debut in 2003.
The central province of Khánh Hòa has set a target of 5.5 million tourists this year, a rise of 17 per cent over last year, including 1.7 million foreigners, according to the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism. In the first three months of the year, the province welcomed more than 1.1 million tourists, up 26 per cent over the same period last year, and earned VNĐ3.4 trillion (US$149.8 million) in tourism revenue.
Foreign tourists reached 500,000, a surge of 85 per cent year-on-year, mostly from China and Russia.
The province is seeking government recognition of Nha Trang as a marine eco-tourism urban area and the northern Cam Ranh peninsula tourism zone as a national tourism site. — VNS