Travelers from across the globe are pouring into HCMC, Hue, Hoi An, Khanh Hoa, Quang Binh and elsewhere as of the early morning of New Year’s Day.
As 2023 began, Vietnam welcomed large droves of foreign tourists not seen since the pandemic started two years ago.
The Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat airport rang in the new year with the landing of a Vietnam Airlines flight from Frankfurt at 7:25 a.m. on Sunday, while a budget airline Vietjet Air flight from Taiwan touched ground at 8:05 a.m. Passengers from the two territories were lucky to be the first to grace Vietnam’s golden shores in 2023.
A visitor from Frankfurt is greeted at Tan Son Nhat Internatinoal Airport in HCMC, January 1, 2023. Photo by Vietnam Airlines
Cam Ranh Airport in the central Khanh Hoa Province also served its first group of foreign tourists for the new year via a flight from Seoul, South Korea. In addition, more than 170 travelers also flew Vietjet Air from Seoul to Da Nang.
On the same day, domestic flights from Hanoi and HCMC brought the first groups of international tourists of the year to Da Nang, Hoi An, Dien Bien, Hue, Da Lat and Quang Binh.
And 185 travelers from Hanoi also set foot at Hue’s Phu Bai International Airport. Passengers Fautscheck Laura and Háas Daneil from Austria received gifts and free admission tickets to the Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments from the local Department of Tourism.
Vietjet Air’s first 2023 flight from HCMC brought 180 people to Quang Binh, including 35 foreign tourists.
Rajesh Samdani from India and his wife said they planned to spend two days exploring the central province. They said they’d also like to travel the rest of Vietnam another time.
“Vietnam has many beautiful places to visit and people here are friendly and helpful. We’re going to check out some caves here,” Samdani said, adding that he appreciated the warm and enthusiastic welcome from the reception on New Year’s Day.
Quang Binh, Vietnam’s “Kingdom of Caves,” boasts a cornucopia of limestone caves including Son Doong, the world’s largest.
Meanwhile, a group of 34 Mongols and some Koreans landed in the ancient town of Hoi An, where they were greeted with songs and dances from local performing troops.
Foreign tourists arrive in Hoi An ancient town on January 1, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
Mongolian Enkhtuya has never been to Hoi An before. With such warm and welcoming people, she said she quickly felt at home.
“I can’t find words to describe how I feel right now. Performances are unique and interesting. I hope that the trip will bring back lots of good memories,” she said. “Thank you for the warm welcome.”
Truong Thi Ngoc Cam, who is in charge of the Hoi An Center for Culture, Sports, and Broadcasting, said that more than 70,000 people are expected to come to Hoi An for the New Year holiday.
Vietnam aims to serve 8 million international visitors in 2023.
The industry eyes revenues of VND650 trillion (US$27.3 billion), according to Ha Van Sieu, deputy general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, who spoke at a conference last month.
HCMC hopes to attract more than 5 million foreign tourists this year, while Hanoi targets 3 million.
Meanwhile, Hue looks forward to more than 1 million and Quang Binh may see as many as 100,000 overseas visitors.
Many localities have launched programs to promote and improve the quality of tourism services.
These include training and developing tourism human resources, “building tourism culture,” “developing and diversifying markets,” and “applying science and technology to tourism development.”
Vietnam only received 3.6 million foreign tourists in 2022, or around 70% of its target.
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