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Combined Tourism Products Promote Vietnam’s Tourism Potential for Longer Stays and Increased Spending

Combined Tourism Products Promote Vietnam’s Tourism Potential for Longer Stays and Increased Spending

Designing holiday tours that combine luxury cruises, sea activities, and local cultural and culinary experiences is an effective way to activate the potential of Vietnam’s tourism industry.

Currently, Halong Bay is at the peak season for domestic travelers. Many families with children and other travelers seek a beach and sea holiday during this time. Destination Management Companies (DMCs) such as LuxGroup are designing longer tours so that travelers can enjoy a luxurious cruise while exploring the beauty of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, or Bai Tu Long Bay. Visitors can discover beaches, caves, scenic viewpoints, local villages, and markets, and participate in activities like kayaking, boating, or cycling excursions. Travel agencies are extending tours and adding more attractive activities to retain holidaymakers in Halong Bay.

“Normally, holidaymakers often enjoy the 2D1N (two days-one night) experience on luxury cruises in Halong and Lan Ha. It is an ideal period to relax and enjoy luxury services on cruises, such as visiting exhibitions, spa treatments, learning vovinam, and attending parties. However, to fully discover the local cuisine, scenic beauty, and culture, travelers need more time. We aim to attract customers with high spending ability, so it is necessary to design longer tours with attractive activities and programs to retain them,” said Dr. Pham Ha, CEO and founder of LuxGroup – a luxury travel and tourism company and cruise operator.

Combining cruises with programs to discover local culture and cuisine is gaining popularity in the country. In mid-June, Nha Trang Bay in Khanh Hoa came alive with thrilling sailing and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) competitions. Hosted at the Ana Marina International Yacht Park, the event drew a large crowd of locals, tourists, and athletes for the 2024 National Clubs Sailing Championship and the 2024 Stand-Up Paddleboarding Championship for elite paddlers.

The competition featured 146 athletes from various clubs, provinces, and cities across the country, along with international participants. Over the course of two days (June 8-9), they competed in 10 high-performance events, two mass-participation events, and two events for international athletes. A total of 28 activities were organized to promote local tourism and culture.

The competition took place during Nha Trang’s peak tourist season, with the city welcoming 35 cruises from both domestic and international travel agencies, bringing approximately 35,000 travelers. At the opening ceremony, Lam Quang Thanh, president of the Vietnam Canoeing, Rowing, and Sailing Federation and head of the organizing committee, stated, “This event aims to promote Nha Trang’s tourism to both domestic and international beach and sports enthusiasts. It also fosters a passion for and development of sailing and stand-up paddleboarding in Vietnam, providing athletes with the opportunity to compete and achieve high performance, enabling coaches and experts to select the most outstanding and promising athletes for the national youth team.”

“I hope that tourism businesses will continue organizing many national and international sailing events annually, as experts consider it an ideal competition venue that meets international standards,” Thanh added.

Along with Nha Trang, other localities such as Quang Ninh, Danang, and Phu Quoc are also designing combined tourist products to exploit their tourism potential.

For example, Nile Cruises in Egypt offer a wide range of tour packages that let tourists fully explore Egypt. Travelers can enjoy world-class cruises, exceptional ambiance, and authentic Egyptian and international cuisine. The new Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza Plateau, expected to open in mid-2024, will provide travelers an opportunity to explore it on a pre-cruise stay, tour other Cairo area sites, and then head to Luxor for a Nile cruise. Travel agencies plan to debut a new nine-day “Exploring Egypt” expedition round-trip from Cairo that traces the highlights of Egyptian history from Pharaonic to Islamic times.

“To exploit this model, there needs to be close coordination between businesses and local authorities in designing and unifying tourism activities and products based on effectively exploiting local tourism potential,” Ha said.

“Enterprises with luxury cruise services are still very concerned about the issue of waterway transportation infrastructure. Cruise tourism can bring in large amounts of revenue but has not yet developed to its potential due to limitations in inland port infrastructure,” Ha added.

For example, in Phu Quoc, LuxGroup planned to invest in 10 cruises to develop tourism. However, delays in the construction of the Phu Quoc International Cruise Ship Port project, which started in 2020, caused uncertainty in the company’s investment decision.

“The latest information shows that this cruise ship port is set to start temporary operations in August. This is good news because when operating at full capacity, the port will not only facilitate the synchronization of infrastructure on Phu Quoc Island, a popular tourist site in the southern region, but also act as a stimulus to attract investors and international travelers to the city,” Ha said.

Sailing the Coast of Vietnam

The marine tourism sector, a top priority of the country’s Sea Economy Master Plan 2030-45, has been struggling to attract investment in cruise harbors and coastal infrastructure to lure globally branded cruise fleets connected with worldwide destinations. Cruise services are key products in building marine tourism as a core part of the ‘blue sea economy’ plan.

Vietnam’s coast is ranked 33rd in the world and is among the top 12 countries for the most beautiful bays, including Halong, Lan Ha, Lang Co, and Nha Trang. Although Vietnam has 3,260 km of coastline, 125 world-class beautiful beaches, 3,000 islands, and 28 coastal cities, it still does not have a cruise ship fleet. Vietnam needs cruise ships along its coast to carry passengers to other countries.

Making up 67.3% of the country’s total tourism revenue, Vietnam is a top favorite ocean destination among 156 beach nations. However, cruise tourism in Vietnam has not been promoted properly so far. The number of cruise tourists accounts for only 2-3% of the total number of international visitors to Vietnam. LuxGroup’s Founder and CEO Pham Ha emphasized the need to attract investors to invest in cruise ships and yachts with Vietnamese nationality to run along the coast.

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