Monday, December 17 2018

VietNamNews

Cruise tourism yet to take off

Update: December, 07/2018 - 10:00
Stunning: A cruise stops at the Hạ Long International Cruise Port, the first specialised passenger port in Việt Nam that just opened in late November in Hạ Long City, Quảng Ninh Province. — VNS Photos Hồng Vân
Viet Nam News

QUẢNG NINH — Việt Nam should invest more in infrastructure, cruise terminal facilities as well as shore itineraries and develop unique tourism products to tap its cruise tourism potential.

The statement was made by Vice Chairman of Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Ngô Hoài Chung at a seminar on cruise tourism, held in the northern province of Quảng Ninh yesterday.

Cruise tourism has been the fastest growing sector of the travel industry for the past few years globally. Often chosen by wealthy people, cruise tourism can make a significant economic impact for the locality.

“Sea and island tourism, which includes cruise tourism, is considered one of the priorities in the tourism development strategy of Việt Nam,” said Chung.

Việt Nam has numerous advantages to become an attractive cruise tourism destination with its location in the centre of Southeast Asia, some 3,200 km of coast, more than 3,000 beautiful islands and diverse and unique culture, said Chung.

However, Việt Nam has not witnessed any considerate uplift in cruise tourism development.

In the first 11 months of 2018, Việt Nam welcomed more than 400,000 cruise tourists, accounting for only 2 to 3 per cent of total international tourists.

All aboard: To make Việt Nam a viable cruise destination, the country should improve its itineraries, cruise facilities and shore excursions, said Ahmad Kamal Bin Abdollah, manager of Cruise Port Development of the NV Terminals in Malaysia.

The growth rate of cruise tourist numbers to Việt Nam is relatively low compared to the total number of tourists and has even decreased some years.

Việt Nam still faces challenges including a poor seaport system, substandard cruise terminal facilities, bad infrastructure, unattractive tourism products and a lack of long-term action plans to attract cruise tourists, according to Chung.

The seminar was held by the VNAT to connect travel agencies and cruise lines, exchange experience in cruise tourism development and propose solutions to develop cruise tourism. It attracted more than 100 participants including representatives from Departments of Tourism of provinces, Departments of Border Gate, the Ministry of Transport, international cruise lines and Vietnamese travel agencies.

To make Việt Nam a viable cruise destination, the country should improve its itineraries, cruise facilities and shore excursions, said Ahmad Kamal Bin Abdollah, manager of Cruise Port Development of the NV Terminals in Malaysia.

“The various destinations within Việt Nam have a solid mix of excursion offerings. The challenge remains in developing new facilities at these destinations and where such facilities are not optimal, improving the overall experience such that the inconvenience is minor and the rewards are great,” said Abdollah.

Vũ Duy Vũ from Saigontourist suggested visa procedures be simplified and made more flexible for cruise tourists.

The VNAT should also attend more international cruise fairs and seminars to promote Việt Nam’s cruise tourism, learn from the international experience and stay updated on global trends, he added. — VNS

 

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