Da Nang welcomes first tourist group in over two months

By Nguyen Dong    October 5, 2020 | 01:13 am PT
Da Nang welcomes first tourist group in over two months
Da Nang's first tourist group receives souvenir gifts from local officials after landing at Da Nang Airport, October 4, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
Da Nang City, the biggest Covid-19 hotspot in Vietnam’s second outbreak wave, welcomed the first tourist group Sunday after over two months of closure to contain Covid-19.

Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy director of the municipal Tourism Department, said "the event is significant, indicating demand for Da Nang tourism has resumed and the city is now a safe destination."

The 55 tourists from Hanoi landed at Da Nang International Airport on a Vietnam Airlines aircraft, welcomed by local tourism officials. As the first group of tourists returning to the city, officials said, they were given certain preferences, including a stay at a four-star hotel instead of their previously booked three-star equivalent, along with a free welcoming party.

Tourist Hoang Thi Thuan, 70, said her family planned to visit Da Nang on August 2, but due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 outbreak, they had to reschedule.

"Since the virus has now been put under control in Da Nang with 36 days without community transmissions, we feel secure to visit the city, with anti-pandemic measures like wearing face masks in public still in place," she said.

Le Thi Hong Tham, 30, along with her husband and five-year-old son also joined the three-day tour to Da Nang. "We feel happy and secure to return to the city, but we often wear masks for safety," she said.

The tourists would visit popular attractions in Da Nang like Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains), Son Tra Peninsula, Ba Na Hills, Thanh Binh Beach, and neighboring Quang Nam Province's Hoi An ancient town.

Da Nang has a coastline of 30 km and is home to many of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches like My Khe, Non Nuoc, and Nam O.

The central city was the epicenter of Vietnam's second novel coronavirus outbreak which began on July 25 after the country had gone over three months without recording a single domestic infection.

Da Nang had closed all public beaches and suspended tourism activities since late July before imposing social distancing measures to curb community transmissions.

Since July 25, Da Nang has recorded 389 Covid-19 cases, 31 of whom succumbed to the disease. It has now gone over a month without a single domestic infection.

The city reopened public beaches from September 11 and allowed all "non-essential" services, including bars and karaoke parlors, to return to normalcy from September 25.

People flock to a beach in Da Nang City, September 11 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.

People enjoy the sun and surf in Da Nang, September 11, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.

Da Nang is expected to receive 2.7 million tourists this year, down 68.6 percent year-on-year due to the Covid-19 impacts, according to the city's tourism department.

Last year, the city received 3.5 million foreign visitors, up 22.5 percent against 2018. Arrivals from South Korea, mainland China, Japan, and Hong Kong showed the highest growth rates.

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