A welcoming ceremony was hosted by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Quang Ninh province People’s Committee at 11am on December 19.
The 15 millionth foreign tourist to enter the country was a US national named James Kopenec who arrived in Ha Long Bay with his wife Hermine Kopenec.
The 14,999, 999th and 15,000,001th visitors were Annita De Vriesere from Belgium and Masahiko Nagaish from Japan respectively.
The three lucky tourists had visited Ha Long Bay on a cruise ship from Singapore which has previously visited Laemchabang, Phu My, Chan May along with Ha Long. The ship’s next destination is Hong Kong.
Nguyen Ngoc Thien, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism,affirmed that the event has marked an important milestone in the development of Vietnam’s tourism sector, which aims to develop into one of the country’s leading industries in the future.
Tourism in Vietnam has long been popular among international audiences through the country’s natural wonders, beautiful landscapes, modern infrastructure and improved quality of services. The tourism industry has also won a number of prestigious international awards.
Quang Ninh has had a breakthrough in tourism growth in recent times. Between 2013 and 2016, the total number of tourists to the province surged by 12.4% to 30.13 million compared to the slow growth period in the 2010 and 2012.
During the first ten months of the year, the total number of visitors to the locality was estimated to be over 10.7 million, up 25% annually.