The first 460 foreign visitors were welcomed by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on the first day of 2011.
Two of the first foreign visitors enter Vietnam at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC on January 1 (Photo: SGGP)
The visitors with different nationalities came to Vietnam from Taiwan and Hong Kong on the two flights of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and the Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific.
The welcoming ceremony was just one in a series of events to boost images of HCMC and Vietnam in 2011.
The same day, the leading tour operator in Vietnam Saigontourist received ten delegations of international visitors and eight groups of Australian travelers in Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi.
They, the first customers of Saigontourist this year, will have a 17 day trans-Vietnam journey to visit landscapes in famous tourist destinations including Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, HCMC, and Can Tho.
The company is expected to welcome over 1500 international tourists to Vietnam in the firs week of the Solar New Year.
According to tourist companies, the toll of foreign visitors to HCMC has been much higher over the same period last year.
Lai Huu Phuong, director of Benthanh Tourist reported a 15-20 percent increase, compared with the same period last year, in the number of foreign visitors to HCMC. They are mainly from the Europe.
In the meantime, Nguyen Van Tran, general director of APEX Tourist Company revealed a boom of Japanese visitors with over 8,000 people in November and December alone, doubled over the same period in the previous year.
They have mainly visited HCMC and other tourist destinations in the central region.
That is a good signal for the city as well as the country’s tourism after a period seeing a decrease of Japanese visitors.
Visitors stream to Mekong Delta
On early January 1, a slew of travelers had been found ready to begin the tour visiting Cai Rang Floating Market and other tourist spots in Phong Dien District and Can Tho City.
Over 200 boats of tourist companies continuously operated but still failed to meet demand of numerous travelers, 3-4 four times higher than normal.
Similarly, ecological tourist spots have been overloaded. The number of tourists there has rocketed by 5-6 times.
My Khanh and Phu Sa tourist sites in the Can Tho City saw 5,000-6,000 visitors in the first day of the new year. Most of them from the Mekong Delta provinces, HCMC and southeastern region.
They showed much excitement in rowing boats, catching fish, watching the race of pigs, enjoying southern specialties and Don Ca Tai Tu (Southern amateur music).
In the meantime, Phu Quoc Island has also been overloaded with domestic and foreign visitors. Over 2,000 rooms of the hotel and resort system in the island district had been booked in advance since several days ago.
Pham Quoc Thai, who is in charge of Sao Bien Resort in Duong Dong town said that the resort’s 45 rooms have been filled with 96 percent of the dwellers being foreigners.
Domestic tourists skyrocket in Phan Thiet, Da Lat
According to the central province of Binh Thuan’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Phan Thiet town has welcomed over 12,000 international visitors in the new year beginning.
95 percent of the resorts’ rooms at Ham Tien-Mui Ne tourist site have been hired. Most of the occupants are from Russia, Germany, Australia, Franch, Sweden and some Asian countries.
In Da Lat city, tourist spots including Mong Mo (Dream) Hill and Tinh Yeu (Love) Valley saw 3,000 visitors in the first day of the Solar New Year, three times higher than normal.
The toll of visitors is forecast to surge more in the following day as they had been found streaming to the Central Highland city on January 1 late afternoon.