Cửa Đại bridge in the central province of Quảng Nam. The province plans to upgrade part of its Kỳ Hà Port for cruise services to nearby islands. — Photo baodautu.vn
QUẢNG NAM — The central province of Quảng Nam plans to upgrade part of its Kỳ Hà Port for cruise services to nearby islands, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Đinh Hài has told Việt Nam News.
Hài said Kỳ Hà Port, which has been used as a major cargo port, will reserve a 20m pier for boat services linking the provincial islands of Chàm, Tam Hải with Quảng Ngãi Province’s Lý Sơn Island and Hàn River Port in Đà Nẵng City.
“We will also build a reception area and accommodations at the port and upgrade the cargo quay into a tourism service pier. The Kỳ Hà Port, which allows cargo ships with a capacity of 20,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage), can be used for cruise and speed boats over the summer holidays,” Hài said.
He said the province will co-operate with neighbouring Quảng Ngãi and Đà Nẵng and travel agencies in boosting tour boat services.
The province hosted 4.4 million tourists, 2.3 million of them foreigners, in 2016. It wants to increase the number to 5 million tourists in 2017 and 8 million in 2020.
The province also plans to upgrade Chu Lai Airport to handle 2.3 million passengers and 1.5 million tonnes of cargo by 2025, as well as launching sea routes from Kỳ Hà Port to Hong Kong and Singapore.
Meanwhile, the island district of Lý Sơn has put into operation the first speed boat service between the island and Sa Kỳ Port on the mainland.
Vice chairwoman of the district’s People’s Committee, Phạm Thị Hương, said the 85-seat speed boat, owned by a private company, will help cut traveling time from the coastal area of Quảng Ngãi Province to the island from one hour to 25 minutes.
She said the Chín Nghĩa company invested VNĐ10 billion (US$442,000) in the project. A second boat is expected to go into operation next month.
Currently five cargo and seven passenger ships serve 1,500 commuters and islanders traveling from Quảng Ngãi to Lý Sơn Island each day.
Lý Sơn Island, 30kms off the coast, is home to about 21,000 residents. Most make their living fishing and farming garlic and spring onions.
The island is also a favourite destination during holidays, with 100,000 tourists visiting annually.
The district’s vice chairwoman said Mường Thanh Group also invested VNĐ40 billion ($1.8 million) to build a 260-seat cruise ship.
In 2015, the district also launched a new sea route connecting the island to An Binh Islet, about 5km away.
According to island authorities, 18 hotels, guest houses and home-stays provide accommodation for 1,000 tourists at present.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Bank of Việt Nam (Agribank) also built the first Automated Teller Machine (ATM) on the Island, while Tiên Sa Taxi put into operation the first public taxi service in 2015. --VNS
Tourists to Đà Nẵng by sea up 30 per cent
The number of tourists visiting Đà Nẵng City by sea has increased 30 per cent since the beginning of this year.
According to the central city’s tourism authorities, Đà Nẵng Port has welcomed 30 ships with nearly 65,000 passengers and crew.
The number of tourists to Đà Nẵng by sea recovered in 2016 following two years of declines. Last year, the city welcomed 70 ships with more than 136,000 tourists and crew members, a 2.6-fold increase from 2015.
Đà Nẵng developed new tours and services to better serve tourists like forming a tourism cyclo and improving service quality at tourist sites. The city’s port was also upgraded to accommodate big cruise ships.
Đà Nẵng hopes to welcome 95 cruise ships and about 160,000 passengers and crew in 2017. — VNS