A cruise ship docks at a port in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. The number of tourists coming to the province on cruise ships has increased year by year. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — With cruise ships visiting Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu having to dock at cargo ports, the province plans to build a new facility to serve cruise ships that bring cash-rich tourists to its shores.
Since 2008, an increasing number of international cruise ships have visited the province, which is located near seaport centres such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai, and is a convenient spot that connects the itineraries of cruise ship operators.
A representative of OSC Vietnam Travel Company, which welcomes cruise ships to the province, told Đầu Tư (Investment Review) newspaper that cruise ships in the area were mainly from Europe, the US, Australia and Asia.
These include luxury ships such as the 5-star Spectrum of the Seas, which carries nearly 6,500 passengers and crew members, and the 5-star Voyager of The Seas, which accommodates 5,800 guests and crew members.
Though it receives a large number of cruise ship tourists, the province does not have a dedicated port for cruise ships and the giant vessels have to dock at the cargo ports of the Cái Mép - Phú Mỹ cargo port system. As a result, travel companies and tourists face many inconveniences.
In addition, giant vessels are not always able to dock at the cargo ports because they are filled with cargo ships and there is no room for cruise ships to berth, according to industry insiders.
The provincial People’s Committee has assigned the Department of Transport and other agencies to conduct research to identify a suitable site for a new port for international cruise ships to dock in Vũng Tàu City.
The department is responsible for creating a zoning plan for an international passenger port in the Sao Mai – Bến Đình area (on an area of 21 ha) and Vũng Tàu Marina City. The deadline for completion of the 1/500 and 1/2000 zoning plans is in August next year.
While waiting for the zoning plan, many investors from the US and Europe have conducted surveys and worked with authorities, expressing their desire to invest or cooperate with the province in building the international passenger port.
One investor has committed to invest during the 2020-2021 period to build an international passenger wharf which would be put it into operation in 2022.
Nguyễn Hồng Lĩnh, the provincial Party Secretary, said that investors were told that the wharf was suitable for development of the province’s tourism industry.
The international passenger wharf, together with a complex of restaurants and shopping centres, would contribute to the development of the tourism industry and be an impressive “check-in” destination for international visitors in Việt Nam.
At the same time, the international passenger wharf would help the province fully exploit its tourism and commercial advantages, bringing significant revenue to the province’s budget, and creating favourable conditions for local workers to access new and high-grade tourism services. — VNS