The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) on January 15 announced it’s list of the top 10 tourism activities and events in 2015.
1. Celebration of the 55th anniversary of Vietnam’s tourism sector (19960 – 2015)
The celebration was a significant landmark to review the sector’s outcomes over the past 55 years of operation. Since its establishment in 1960, the tourism sector has become an important economic industry making significant contributions to national socio-economic development.
On the occasion, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism presented the annual Vietnam Tourism Awards 2014 to outstanding travel agencies, hotels, carriers, shops and restaurants throughout the country.
2. Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and Son Doong Cave honoured internationally
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Quang Binh province was recognised as a world heritage site by the UNESCO at a conference held in Bonn, Germany on July 3, 2015 thanks to its stunning biological diversity and resplendent landscape.
It is the second time the Vietnamese park has received UNESCO recognition, the first time was in 2003 for its geological and geomorphologic values.
Son Doong Cave and En Cave, which are part of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, were broadcast on the live programme ‘Good Morning America’ on the ABC News channel in the US on May 13, 2015. The 90-minute programme explored the stunning beauty of the caves, attracting a huge number of viewers.
3. Tourism stimulus campaign ‘Vietnamese people travel around Vietnam’
The campaign was launched by the VNAT in July 2015 to stimulate domestic travel. It promotes tours to coastal areas, islands and mountainous areas which have the potential for tourism development. It also encourages overseas Vietnamese to visit their homeland.
The campaign has worked effectively with the total number of domestic visitors in 2015 reaching 57 million.
4. Promulgation of Government policies on developing tourism.
The Government has promulgated two resolutions No. 39/NQ-CP and 46/NQ-CP to grant visa exemption for citizens from six foreign countries in order to attract more foreign holiday makers to the country.
Most recently, Decree 82/2015/ND-CP has approved visa exemption for up to one year for not only overseas Vietnamese but also their spouses and children. The policy demonstrates the consistent policy of considering the overseas Vietnamese community as an integral part of the nation.
5. The 2015 Vietnam International Tourism Mart
The 2015 Vietnam International Tourism Mart (VITM) ran from April 3-6 in Hanoi, attracting around 65,000 visitors.
Themed ‘Vietnam – the country of heritages’, the event featured 496 booths, including 355 represented domestic travel companies from 44 provinces and cities as well as 141 booths from 24 countries and territories around the world.
6. Vietnam’s tourist attractions praised by international online newspapers and magazines.
Many of Vietnam’s tourist attractions were highlighted in prestigious international publications over the past year.
The UK’s Telegraph Travel picked Vietnam among world’s top 20 destinations for 2015. The central coastal city of Da Nang came in 43rd in the New York Times’ “52 places to go in 2015.”
The ancient city of Hoi An in Quang Nam province was ranked fourth in the Top 10 most romantic destinations in the planet as voted by CNN. Ha Long Bay in northern Quang Ninh province was named as one of the top 15 most amazing landscapes and rock formations across the world, according to BBC News.
British popular travel site Rough Guides named Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island in Kien Giang province among the world’s 30 best honeymoon destinations.
7. Promotional clip on Vietnam’s tourism aired on UK travel channel.
A video clip promoting Vietnam’s tourism has been aired on the UK’s Travel Channel from October 20, 2015 under a contract signed between the VNAT and the channel.
The 30-second video, featuring Vietnamese culture, seas, islands and nature, was screened a total of 300 times of which 20% was broadcast during prime time.
8. National Tourism Year 2015 – Thanh Hoa.
The 2015 National Tourism Year themed ‘Connecting World Heritages’ was successfully held in Thanh Hoa province.
With over 60 large-scale activities organised, the programme developed tourism products and created chains of new, prominent and distinct destinations, promoting the special values of cultural heritages in tourism development.
9. Da Nang resort wins global luxury award for second time.
The InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in the central coastal city of Da Nang was named the World’s Leading Luxury Resort for the second time at a ceremony in Morocco on December 13, 2015.
The Sun Group’s resort is the only establishment in the history of the World Travel Awards to secure the prize – which is dubbed as the “Oscar of the Travel Industry” for two consecutive years.
10. The 11th International Travel Expo (ITE).
The 11th International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC 2015) was held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 10-12, 2015, attracting more than 220 regional buyers and 100 domestic buyers consisting of travel agencies from the five countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
The expo has been held ten times and has become a leading tourism event in Vietnam and among the lower Mekong sub-region countries, contributing to promoting the image and tourism sector of Vietnam and other regional countries.
Since 2014, the ITE HCMC has seen the participation of five countries including Cambodia, Lao, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, helping to promote and diversify tourism products and services based on a combination of the various tourism industries of each country.