Digital travel platform Agoda releases its first Vietnam’s New Horizons

Wednesday, 25/10/2023 21:45
Digital travel platform Agoda released its first Vietnam’s New Horizons list on October 24, featuring some upcoming and lesser-known destinations, reported VOV.
 Tam Dao tourist area in the northern mountainous province of Vinh Phuc.(Photo: VnExpress)

According to the study which compares year-on-year search data between 2022 and 2023, several emerging destinations have seen huge growth in interest by travelers both inside and outside of the nation.

“While Vietnam’s best-known and best-loved destinations have been well-covered and frequently explored by our homeland’s travelers, in the past year we have seen huge spikes in searches for some of the nation’s less-visited locales,” explained Vu Ngoc Lam, country director for Vietnam of Agoda.

“We wanted to take the opportunity then to look into a few of the locations off Vietnam’s beaten track, and into the aspirations of its evolving travelers, who are often looking to expand their travel horizons and take the road less traveled,” he added.

Agoda noted that the northern mountain retreat of Tam Dao saw an incredible annual increase of 279% in search traffic.

Visitors admire breath-taking sunrise on Phu Quy Island  (Source: VOV)

Located just 80 kilometres from Hanoi and easily accessible by car, bus, motorbike, and even occasionally by the adventurous bicyclist, the stunning retreat features hotel-and-homestay dotted across hills and has proven an irresistible getaway to Hanoians seeking a quick respite from life in the busy capital.

Furthermore, recording a 234% increase in search volume was Bac Ninh.

Agoda noted that the spiritual epicentre of northern Vietnam is just 40 kilometres from Hanoi and offers a myriad of options for culture-seekers and art-lovers. Indeed, it famously features year-round traditional festivals, frequently in and around one of the region’s many pagodas and temples.

Staying in the north, the beach town of Sam Son recorded growth of 228% off the back of a particularly hot northern summer, with the area growin in popularity due to its sandy shores and rolling seas.

Moreover, located off the coast of resort-meccas Phan Thiet, the tiny isle of Phu Quy, which has seen its popularity skyrocket due to influencers drawn by its irresistibly Instagrammable endless-horizons, is home to comfy homestays. In line with this, it saw interest in its gorgeous scenery spike by an impressive 180% more searches on-year.

Rounding out the 2023 list of Vietnam’s New Horizons is Quy Nhon. The digital platform revealed that the expansion of resorts and infrastructure in the city has seen a rise in interest from Agoda users with a 178% increase in the past year, with many drawn to its stunning beaches and fabulous cuisine.

Other notable mentions in the 2023 roundup included Cat Ba Island with a rise of 127%, Tuy Hoa which doubled in search traffic at 103%, and mountainous Yen Bai with an increase of 88%.

Vietnam Airlines to open new route from Da Nang to Bangkok

According to VOV, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced that it plans to launch a route linking the Da Nang International Airport with Bangkok-based Don Mueang International Airport, with flights starting from November 29.

Vietnam Airlines to open new route from Da Nang to Bangkok (Source: VOV) 

The airlines will conduct daily flights using the Airbus A321 aircraft. Flights are due to depart at 8 p.m. from Da Nang International Airport and at 5:05 a.m. from Don Mueang International Airport each day.

Vietnam Airlines is currently operating 49 direct flights per week connecting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang to Bangkok.

The latest route linking the Da Nang International Airport to Bangkok-based Don Mueang International Airport is expected to better meet the travel demand of passengers, while simultaneously helping to develop cultural and economic exchanges between the nation and Thailand.

During the past nine months of the year, the number of passengers between the country and Thailand carried by Vietnam Airlines increased three times over the same period of 2022, highlighting the tourism recovery of the two markets.

Quang Ninh has two more special national relic sites

The Prime Minister on October 24 issued a decision accrediting the special national status of two more relic sites in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, reported VNA.

The Tra Co communal house in Mong Cai City. (Photo: VNA) 

The sites consist of the historical and cultural complex of the Van Don port in Van Don district and the architectural and artistic relic of the Tra Co communal house in Mong Cai City.

The Prime Minister has requested the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the authorities of the localities where the relics are located to manage them in accordance with the law on cultural heritage.

The Tra Co communal house is one of Vietnam’s significant historical, cultural, architectural, and artistic relics. It was designated as a national heritage site by the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports, and Tourism (now the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism) in 1974. So far, no historical or scientific evidence has been found to confirm its precise age. Various theories have been proposed, with the earliest dating back to the 15th century. Based on the architectural features that have been preserved, it can be inferred that the communal house was constructed between the late 17th and early 18th century. The site embodies a rich history and cultural significance, representing the architectural and artistic values of the Red River Delta region and inheriting the artistic essence of a historical period. In 2014, the provincial People's Committee recognised Tra Co as one of the 15 tourist attractions in Mong Cai city, which also included the Tra Co church, Tra Co temple, Xuan Lan pagoda, and Nam Tho pagoda.

The Van Don port, meanwhile, was once a major trading port of Dai Viet (ancient Vietnam). Existing from the mid-12th century to the late 18th century in the coastal region that now belongs to Quang Ninh, the port served as a significant and vital trading centre for Vietnam at that time. Myriad merchants and ships came here from across Asia and Europe to engage in the trade and exchange of goods.

Other special national relic sites in Quang Ninh include the sacred Buddhist land and historical site of Yen Tu in Uong Bi city and a memorial site dedicated to late President Ho Chi Minh on Co To island.

The Yen Tu relic site features many pagodas on Yen Tu Mountain. Here, King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the third king of the Tran dynasty, founded the Truc Lam Zen Buddhist sect.

On May 9, 1961, President Ho Chi Minh visited the Co To, the only destination he allowed to erect a statue of him when he was still alive. The memorial site was built in 1968, recognised as a national relic site in 1997, and received its latest accreditation in mid-January 2022.

In 2023, Quang Ninh – home to UNESCO-recognised Ha Long Bay – strives to become a "can't-miss" destination in Vietnam. It aims to attract 15 million visitors, 500,000 visitors higher than the figure in 2019 before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. During January – September, the locality hosted 13 million visitors, up more than 40% year-on-year.

Thai Airways to reopen flights to Vietnam as of October 29

Thai Airways is scheduled to re-operate flights from Bangkok to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam with a frequency of four flights per day starting from October 29, reported VOV.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara addresses the event 

This information was released at an event co-hosted by Thai Airways and Huong Giang Aviation Service Co, Ltd (HG Aviation) aimed at unveiling a plan to resume flights in the Vietnamese market.

Upon addressing the event, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara expressed his belief that the resumption of Thai Airways’ flights is anticipated to bring about huge benefits to the economies of Vietnam and Thailand, especially to the tourism industry.

Last year saw Thailand welcome more than 500,000 Vietnamese tourists, while more than 200,000 Thai tourists also arrived in the nation, with the number of visitors expected to double compared to last year.

Ngo Minh Duc, chairman of HG Aviation, pointed out that the launch of daily flights from Bangkok to two major tourist centres, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, has contributed to further tightening the relationship between Thailand and Vietnam. In addition, it has opened up a wealth of opportunities to increase the number of international visitors to the Vietnamese market.

He emphasised that Thai Airways boasts a wide flight network around the world with many air routes from Europe, which will offer an opportunity for Vietnam to attract more customers hailing from distant markets.

“Through Thailand – the region’s leading aviation hub, we hope to develop ASEAN into a common destination, attract further high-end tourists as well as MICE delegations coming to Vietnam in the coming time,” Duc said.

Compiled by BTA