Localities Welcome First Foreign Tourists in Lunar New Year

Budget carrier Vietjet’s Flight VJ5317, departing from China’s Chengdu international airport, landed at Cam Ranh international airport, the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, on January 23 morning, the second day of the Lunar New Year festival.

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Localities Welcome First Foreign Tourists in Lunar New Year
Vietjet’s Flight VJ5317 lands at Cam Ranh international airport, the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, carrying Chinese tourists to Khanh Hoa after three years of hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Nhan dan (People) Newspaper

It was the first flight carrying Chinese tourists to Khanh Hoa after three years of hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, VietnamPlus reported.

Every passenger received flowers and a red packet of lucky money at the welcome ceremony.

From January 23 – March 23, Vietjet is due to operate about 35 flights carrying Chinese visitors from the provinces of Anhui, Hunan and Sichuan to Nha Trang with 4-5 weekly flights transporting 180-220 passengers each.

Before the pandemic outbreak, China was the biggest source of tourist arrivals in Khanh Hoa, with over 2.5 million in 2019.

Last year, the province welcomed more than 2.5 million holidaymakers, earning over VND13.8 trillion ($600 million), marking a 5.75-fold increase year-on-year. It is now home to 1,169 lodging facilities with over 55,530 rooms. Nearly half of them meet 3-5 star standard.

This year, the provincial tourism sector targeted serving about 4 million tourists, including about 2.5 million domestic and 1.5 million foreign visitors who are expected to spend VND21 trillion while here.

A ceremony was also held on January 23 to welcome the first international tourist cruise ship to the Da Nang-based Tien Sa Port, according to Da Nang newspaper.

Localities Welcome First Foreign Tourists in Lunar New Year
A ceremony is held on January 23 to welcome the first international tourist cruise ship to the Da Nang-based Tien Sa Port. Photo: Nguoi lao dong (Labour) Newspaper

The Silver Spirit cruise ship, operated by Italy-headquartered Silversea company, brought more than 500 tourists to the central coastal hub of tourism.

On January 22, Da Nang also welcomed the first international flight of the new lunar year, which was the VZ964 of Thai Vietjet Air carrying 100 passengers from Thailand.

The northern province of Quang Ninh held a ceremony the same day to welcome the Lunar New Year’s first group of foreign tourists to UNESCO-recognized Ha Long Bay, said the World &Vietnam Report.

The group comprised 150 visitors from different countries arriving on the cruise ship Silver Spirit, which departed from Hong Kong (China). Quang Ninh was the first docking point of the ship on the first voyage of the Year of the Cat. After leaving Quang Ninh, the Silver Spirit’s next destination was Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.

A beach in Phan Thiet city, Binh Thuan province (Photo: VNA)
A beach in Phan Thiet city, Binh Thuan province. Photo: VNA

Also on January 22, a train carrying 300 tourists, including 50 foreigners, arrived in the central province of Binh Thuan. The first visitors to the province in the Year of the Cat were welcomed at the Phan Thiet Station with Tet wishes and lucky money in accordance with traditional Tet customs.

The province, which hosts the 2023 national tourism year, has set a target of attracting 6.5 million visitors, including 200,000 international travelers, this year. Total revenue from tourism activities is expected to hit VND15.9 trillion ($678 million)./.

Rosy Huong