Founder and CEO LuxGroup: “Why not position Vietnam as the world’s cruise and yacht destination?”
CNN’s Travel section recently listed 18 underrated destinations in the world, including Da Lat and Vietnam’s Lan Ha Bay. Commenting on Lan Ha, CNN wrote: “Visitors who want to walk on the water in a secluded place should go to Lan Ha, in the south of Halong Bay. Like Halong Bay – its more famous brother, Lan Ha Bay is a shimmering archipelago of islands, divided by limestone mountains (karst). This beautiful landscape can be admired by day trips with water vehicles such as kayaks, canoes or overnight on cruises…”
It is not without reason that the famous American news agency mentioned Lan Ha. Vietnam is located between the two largest cruise tourism centers in Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Therefore, the coastline stretching over 3.200 km of our country is considered as a “big door” for Vietnam to approach countries in the region and the world through the East Sea. We have beautiful bays and are very suitable for cruise tourism such as Halong – Lan Ha Bay, Nha Trang Bay, Lang Co Bay, Phu Quoc… as well as a system of deep-water seaports that can meet our needs. docking requirements of some large cruise ships in the world.
In fact, for those who have had the opportunity to visit Lan Ha Bay, this unspoiled and less touristy bay deserves even more attention. Located on the same tourist route as Ha Long and about 20km to the south, Lan Ha seems to have just woken up from a long sleep. This has a good side: the bay is well maintained, the sea surface is emerald green, there is little garbage, the landscape is well protected, the people doing tourism and fishing are conscious of protecting their heritage. Creator gives.
The most difficult thing for Lan Ha as well as other bays in the Northeast of Vietnam, or Nha Trang in the Central region, is to maintain the wildness of nature at all costs, and at the same time develop tourism and livelihoods for local residents. The problem of sustainable tourism development of Lan Ha needs to be considered as a pilot as well as a test to be replicated throughout other tourist destinations in the North.
In Lan Ha, a number of travel agencies have exploited unique marine tourism products by yacht. This type was actually introduced by the “brother” of Ha Long before, but Lan Ha has its own “USP” (Unique Selling Point, roughly speaking, separate and unique strengths). Since 2004, tourists have experienced a first night at sea on an iron yacht called Emeraude of a French company called Apple Tree. The launch of exploiting this unique marine tourism product was followed by many large and small yachts of all kinds, operating on Ha Long Bay and then Lan Ha Bay.
Back to the story of Lan Ha, Heritage Binh Chuan owned by LuxGroup is considered by many international travellers as a “heritage cruise”. In the middle of the epidemic season in the period of 2020-2021, when most of the tourism industry is “hibernating”, this yacht is still operating the most in the Gulf of Tonkin. The ship was designed based on the inspiration and admiration of Mr. Pham Ha for the king of Vietnamese ships in the early 20th century, ethnic bourgeois Bach Thai Buoi. Mr. Ha asked: “Why not position Vietnam as the world’s cruise destination?”
The Chairman and CEO of LuxGroup wants to continue writing the story of Buoi’s waterway business, building a fleet of cruises running along the coast of Vietnam.
How to open up?
At the seminar “Development of Vietnam’s sea and island tourism – Opportunities, challenges and solutions” taking place on December 9, 12 in Da Nang, tourism industry leaders said that our country’s sea and island tourism is developing rapidly. not commensurate with the potential and available advantages.
According to Mr. Doan Van Viet, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, sea and island tourism activities have accounted for about 70% of the activities of Vietnam’s tourism industry. In the period 2010 – 2019, the number of visitors to coastal localities increased faster than the national average growth rate with 13,6%/year for international visitors and 12,3% for domestic visitors.
In 2019 alone, there were over 34 million international visitors and 145,6 million domestic visitors, bringing the total revenue from tourism to 508 trillion VND, accounting for about 67,3% of the whole country, according to figures. announced at the conference.
Currently, the type of sea and island tourism is still around the coast, not daring to go far offshore, no breakthroughs, but mainly following each other. Many inadequacies have not been thoroughly resolved, for example, issues of environmental protection, planning, promotion and advertising…
According to Master Nguyen Thi Sam, lecturer at the Faculty of Business Administration, Nguyen Trai University: “Despite the growth, the number of cruise tourists only accounts for a very small proportion, from 2-3% of the total structure. number of international visitors to Vietnam. The growth rate of our country’s cruise passengers compared to tourists traveling by air and the total number of international visitors to Vietnam is still very low, and even decreased in some years.
This expert pointed out a number of main reasons, including: the seaport system and seaport infrastructure have not met the development requirements, most of the seaports that welcome tourists are just points for ships to dock; Poor tourism products, lack of diversity.
Ms. Sam also said that the exploitation of cultural heritage values, world nature, marine resources, national cultural identity of Vietnam to build products for cruise tourists has not been effective. There is a lack of recreational activities on the shore and especially shopping services for cruise passengers.
An expert with a lot of experience in tourism, Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of the Institute of Tourism Development, shared his opinion that Vietnam’s sea tourism has developed very rapidly in the past time, is one of the The fastest growing form of tourism, contributing to promoting Vietnam’s tourism. However, Mr. Tuan also emphasized, it is necessary to organize appropriate zoning space, at the national, regional, provincial and destination levels. It is necessary to promote investment in infrastructure development, especially seaports dedicated to tourism activities.
By the practice of a businessman with a business operating in the field of sea tourism, Mr. Pham Ha affirmed that each sea area should have its own typical sea and island tourism products such as OCOP (short for the words OCOP). English “One Commune One Product”, each locality has a unique product), in order to create unique and diverse experiences for tourists from all over the world to choose from.
“Each province needs to have a one-stop focal point for licensing activities and organizing new sea and island tours. It is necessary to simplify the procedures for organizing sea and island tours. In night economic activities, the time from 18pm the previous day to 6am the next morning is the time when customers can collect a lot of money, authorities should allow businesses to do night tours on bays and rivers. lake, outside the fixed time frame”, Mr. Ha suggested.