International cruises yet to pick up steam after tourism reopening

By Hoang Phong   November 4, 2022 | 04:00 pm PT
International cruises yet to pick up steam after tourism reopening
Foreign tourists onboard French ship Le Laperouse arrive at Quy Nhon Port in Binh Dinh Province, central Vietnam, October 8, 2022. Photo by Vietnam News Agency
The number of international tourists going through Vietnamese ports in January-October was just 745, a 49% year-on-year increase, but indicating a sluggish recovery.

Last month, French luxury ship Le Laperouse with 106 tourists from France, Italy, Spain and Sweden docked in Con Dao Island, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon, Da Nang, Hue, Quang Binh and Ha Long.

While tourism officials saw it as a positive sign, experts said it would take more time for Vietnam to attract international cruise passengers because of the global socio-economic developments.

In 2019, Vietnamese ports received 7.5 million passengers arriving on cruise ships, up 8% from the previous year.

Vietnam was named Asia's best river cruise destination at the prestigious World Cruise Awards last year.

Vietnam has a dense network of 2,360 rivers with a total length of more than 41,900 kilometers.

In recent years, luxury river cruises through famed attractions and ancient temples have become a popular tourism product for international visitors.

Vietnam, which reopened its borders to foreign tourists in mid-March this year, welcomed over 2.35 million foreign visitors in the January-October period, less than half of this year's five-million target.

The number of international tourists arriving by air accounted for over 80 percent.

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