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Singapore, Thailand linking cruise routes to Vietnam

2011-07-27 (GMT + 7)

Tourism officials of Singapore and Thailand are interested in linking cruise routes to Vietnam to spice up their packages to international cruise passengers, a Vietnamese travel official said.

A representative of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) told the Daily that earlier this month representatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand on a working trip in Vietnam said they were very keen for their cruises to stop in Vietnam to make their products more interesting to travelers from long-haul destinations such as Latin America and Canada.

Long-haul travelers have expressed a preference to visit places like Vietnam after they have been to Thailand.

Singapore’s tourism industry has also been inquiring about how they can make a stop in Vietnam. However, the problem is the nation still lacks processional terminals for large international cruise ships, meaning that when such ships arrive in Vietnam they must anchor at cargo ports.

Singapore tourism officials and entrepreneurs have made fact-finding trips to help Vietnam’s tourism officials find suitable locations for developing ports for cruise ships and find avenues for investment to develop cruise tourism.

A VNAT official said the country has to take full advantage of cruise tourism development with its long coastlines and location. But the companies of Vietnam tour has yet to launch any concrete plans.

A cruise terminal in Vietnam was mentioned in the 2005-2010 Tourism Development Program, but as yet nothing has materialized.

VNAT said the nation received 19,500 foreign cruise passengers in the first half of this year, down 15.2% compared to the same period last year.

However, travel firms Saigontourist Travel Service., and Viet Excursions reported larger numbers. Saigontourist had 40,000 cruise passengers in the same period.

Source: The Saigon times

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