Foreign tourists who are on winter vacation in Vietnam are expected to visit tourist hubs such as Ha Long, Hue and Phu Quoc during the New Year holiday.
This will be the first New Year holiday since Vietnam reopened its borders to foreign tourists on March 15. Therefore, some tourist hotspots are expecting an influx of foreign arrivals who have already begun their winter vacation.
Pham Ha, chairman of luxury cruise tour operator Lux Group, said his cruise ships in Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay are fully booked from the Christmas to New Year holiday, with 70% of guests being foreigners.
A representative of Paradise Ha Long cruise service also said that all of its nine yachts were full, with nearly 80% of guests from the United States, Australia, Spain and South Korea.
Nguyen Van Phuc, director of Thua Thien-Hue Department of Tourism, said the number of foreign tourists coming to Hue during the New Year holiday is expected to rise.
This month Hue expects to receive 70,000 foreign arrivals, accounting for nearly half of total visitors to the former imperial capital.
Tourists pose in Vietnamese traditional ao dai in Hue. Photo by Xuan Quang
Travel agencies have not received a lot of New Year bookings from domestic travelers, saying that the much longer Lunar New Year holiday is three weeks away, and many Vietnamese have opted for that instead.
Nguyen Vu Khac Huy, standing vice chairman of the Kien Giang Tourism Association, estimated that the number of visitors to Phu Quoc Island during the New Year holiday this weekend will be only about 10% higher than during weekdays.
“The island is expected to mainly welcome foreign tourists who are on a winter vacation,” Huy said.
British newspaper The Telegraph this month named Vietnam one of 15 budget-friendly destinations for a winter sun break, recommending Nha Trang and Hoi An in the central region as ideal options.
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