In the film footage Carmen Roberts reported that it has been almost a year since 12 people died on a tourist boat which sank in Halong Bay, which was voted as one of the world’s seven new natural wonders in 2011. The accident has prompted a complete safety overhaul, she said.
Reporter Roberts said that thanks to great efforts by local authorities, Halong Bay cruise services have improved remarkably with safety equipment for tourists.
The BBC film footage focused on some cruise service providers, such as Bahya, Au Co and Emeraude, to see whether they meet safety standards or not. Au Co is among those meeting international safety standards in the Gulf of Tonkin.
It also touched upon Z189 shipyard in the northern port city of Haiphong, which is currently one of the most modern and prestigious shipbuilding factories in Vietnam. As the shipyard meets international shipbuilding standards, it is providing cruises for Au Co under the strict management of Vietnamese and French experts.
In recent months, the number of foreign arrivals has increased sharply. The local department for culture, sports and tourism said Halong Bay welcomed more than 337,000 tourists in January 2012, up 14 percent compared to the same month of last year.
Visitors to Halong Bay enjoyed free entrance ticket from January 23 to February 5.
To see how safe tourist boats are in Halong Bay, please visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/fast_track/9692898.stm