Halong Bay will welcome in 2019 the next ASEAN Travel Forum and Halong feels ready to welcome the tourism trade for all over the world. The show will take place as Vietnam is experiencing an incredible tourism boom. Arrivals grew last year by almost 30% to reach 12.95 million international visitors and some 74 million domestic travellers. It could again grow tremendously in 2018 with governmental projections mentioning 15.5 million international arrivals and 78 million domestic visitors.
According to Dr. Ha Van Sieu, Vice Chairman of Vietnam National Administration for Tourism (VNAT), visa simplification with e-visa provided to 40 countries and 22 countries benefiting from visa exemption, had a positive effect. More direct flights proved also efficient to attract first time travellers. “Look at China. It is our largest source market now with 4.2 to 4.3 million visitors. It is the result of new air connections but also new tailor-made products for Chinese travellers. We pay attention to be sure that they will be fully satisfied when coming to our country”, he said.
Other new flights are also boosting Vietnam’s appeal to foreign travellers. Just out of Bangkok, new routes were launched last year by Bangkok Airways to Phu Quoc and by Vietjet to Dalat and Haiphong. Vietjet also launched recently scheduled flights from Chiang Mai and Phuket to Ho Chi Minh City.
And the next hot destination could be Halong Bay. According to a Quang Ninh Province executive, Halong City has been turned into a real tourism hub. Located a few km away to the UNESCO listed world natural heritage, Halong Bay will see a brand new international airport being opened by the end of 2018 with first commercial flights to be launched by early 2019, just on time before the ATF hosting. “That will give three possibilities for the trade to come to Halong with Hanoi, Haiphong and Halong Bay airports”, added Dr. Ha Van Sieu.
Halong has some 170 hotels and luxury cruise liners in all categories to be registered with half a dozen of five star hotels including international chains such as Novotel, Wyndham or the luxury local hospitality group Vinpearl. The resort city offers a wide range of restaurants, clubs and even a world class museum, the Quang Ninh Museum and Library with a unique contemporary architecture where the history of the region, the fauna and flora as well as historical presentation of the region.
The ATF 2019 will take place from January 14 to 18 with the Travel Exhibition being hosted on January 16 onwards in a brand new venue, Quang Ninh Exhibition of Planning and Expo Center (QNEPEC). The brand new facility offers an unusual contemporary design reminiscent of a dolphin and a shell. There is a selection of 15 official and post tours will be available. Registration for ATF2019 is already possible under www.atfvietnam2019.com.