Danang, an image of dynamism to
DANANG - Night is falling over Danang and the city is just all lights. Its new bridges over the Han river are shining in red, green or blue colours, the new stylish dragon bridge with its head facing the old town evocates a theme parc attraction while thousand of electric bulbs give a festive atrmosphere to the streets in the city centre. Along the Han river, the skyline is rapidly changing with new skyscrapers rising along …. On the coast, luxury resorts stand next to each other on their way to the old city of Hoi An in Qang Ninh neighbouring province. Danang is already well known on social media to have one of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia. Despite the presence of major international chains along the beach, the long stretch of sand retains all its beauty and serenity.
The Furama Resort Danang, the veteran of all resorts in the area opened 16 years ago, has since been joined by the Centara Sandy Beach Resort, Hyatt Regency, the Pullman, the Sun River, the VinhPearl and most recently the Intercontinental are some of the luxury resorts lined up along the white sand, kilometer-long beaches of Danang. In total, Danang has now 410 hotels with over 14,000 rooms on offer. 19 five and four-star hotels represent close to 4,000 rooms…
The dynamism of the 1.5 million city has a lot to do with the fact that the city has been directly managed by the Central Government since 1997. “Danang’s strategic importance is growing as we are at the Eastern end of the East-West Corridor of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, which links Myanmar to us via Thailand and Laos. Since 2000, tourism has grown by 280% while the government has been embarked into an ambitious development plan of infrastructures”, explains Nguyen Thi Hoai An, Vice Director of Danang Centre for Tourism Promotion. Numbers speak for themselves : from 0.77 million travellers –including 0.26 million for international visitors, total Danang visitors reached last year 3.12 million including 0.75 million international tourists. Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Thai represent the largest inbound markets. “We are confident to reach the four-million travellers in 2015 and the eight-million by 2020”, adds Nguyen Thi Hoai An.
One of the key strategies to attract more travellers is to offer more direct flights. Until now, Danang International Airport – probably the best airport infrastructure in the country- has been directly linked to three international hubs: Hong Kong, Seoul Incheon, Singapore as well as regionally to Siem Reap. The City Government is now trying hard to get new routes established. With some success: “We will get this summer a new route to Tokyo Narita with twice-weekly frequencies by Vietnam Airlines. In August, AirAsia will open three to four weekly frequencies to Kuala Lumpur”, tells Danang Tourism vice director.
Probably the biggest gap in the network of Danang is a connection to Bangkok considered a natural gateway to Indochina. “We were very close to concluding an agreement with low cost carrier Thai Smile. But the political turbulences in Bangkok delayed the launch of the flight”, regrets Danang Tourism executives. China is currently served on a charter basis but the City Government hopes that once tensions with the big neighbour ease off, some charter flights will then be converted into a regular route. “We hope also to have connections with Indonesia due to the high potential of this market now”, adds Nguyen Thi Hoai An.
Danang’s strength for the Asian market is predominantly its beautiful beaches stretching along a coast line of 30 km in its territory. The most famous is the 9-kilometre long My Khe Beach about 6km east of Da Nang on the way to Hoi An. But the city is also turning into an entertainment place. Gambling facilities, an indoor amusement park perched in a French style medieval castle at Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort as well as festivals give to Danang a new image of Vietnam’s fun capital. But also the city government is keen to promote eco-tourism and culture. For the first one, the marble mountains with its caves, the Suoi Hoa Eco-tourism Zone with its gardens and waterfalls or the grandiose landscapes of Hai Van Pass are some of the attractions for nature lovers. While culture and history are to be discovered in town. Danang suffered of destructions during the Vietnam War.
Combined with land speculations, it eliminated from the city landscape most of Danang’s French colonial heritage. Some of the buildings are now being restored while there is a major project to renovate the beautiful Champa Museum – formerly the French Far East Fine Arts School- and turn it into a world-class institution. “We are now looking at finalists among architects designing the future museum. And we should definitely earmark better some of these old French structures as they are attractive to many visitors and add to the charm of our city”, tells the Vice Director.
As a gateway to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the old cities of Hoi An and Hue as well as My Tho ancient Champa temples, all perfect for half a day or a day tour- Danang is turning into Vietnam emerging tourism hub…
Published : 25-7-14
Source : http://www.traveldailynews.asia/