Ba Na Hills turns Vietnam into emerging leisure tourism destination

07:35 | 04/07/2019
Ba Na Hills is one of the most successful entertainment projects developed by Sun Group in Danang, attracting a rising number of local and foreign tourists. After a decade of operation, Ba Na Hills has laid a sound foundation for Vietnam’s leisure tourism, which is expected to continue to grow stronger in the future.
ba na hills turns vietnam into emerging leisure tourism destination
Ba Na Hills has become the landmark projects for foreign tourists to Danang

A huge gap to fill in the market

According to a recent research, 70 per cent of international travelers to Vietnam arrive with the purpose of discovery. Average tourist spending for sightseeing activities only accounts for 11.9 per cent of the total spending during the trip. This figure is much lower than the 50 per cent in Malaysia and the 70 per cent in Thailand. The fact is that Vietnam lacks attractive tourism products to increase tourist spending, which has remained a bottleneck for the tourism industry in the past years. Vietnam posted impressive tourist arrival figures every year and has even become one of the world's Top 10 fastest-growing tourist destinations in 2017. However, its revenue from tourism continues to lag behind its neighbouring peers.

A decade ago, Vietnam’s tourism industry was stagnating due to the global economic crisis in 2008. Vietnam only received 3.8 million tourist arrivals in 2009, 300,000 of whom visited Danang. Apart from pristine beaches, the city did not offer any unique tourism products to attract travellers at the time. Ho Chi Minh City was the only city in Vietnam being home to two entertainment parks – Dam Sen Cultural Park and Suoi Tien Cultural Theme Park.

For years, Danang was just a transition place for travellers between Hue and Hoi An due to a shortage of entertainment and recreational activities. At the time there were no entertainment parks, so tourism activities mainly centered on nature like going to the beach. Foreign travellers did not spend much money as the city did not have any exciting tourism products.

On the launching day of Ba Na Hills, thousands of tourists and local people spent hours queueing up to ride the cable car. Over the past decade, Ba Na Hills has become a must-visit destination in Danang.

ba na hills turns vietnam into emerging leisure tourism destination
The Golden Bridge is the most prominent tourist destination in Ba Na Hills

A pioneer in the field

Ba Na Hills is known for its spectacular scenery and colourful festivals. The French Village has been dubbed as "a miniature Paris" while the Golden Bridge is a sight straight out of legends. Thus, many tourists have returned to Ba Na Hills to enjoy the exciting entertainment activities.

In 2015, Vietnam witnessed a decline in tourist arrivals for 11 consecutive months. However, Danang still posted a growth of 33.1 per cent in the number of visitors. Ba Na Hills has made a substantial contribution to this achievement.

Phung Xuan Khanh, director of Tien Phong Travel, said that if Ba Na Hills had not been developed in Danang, it would be a lot less known among tourists. It would have been impossible for Danang to become one of the world’s top 10 destinations. Meanwhile, the deputy director of TransViet Travel stated that the number of tourists to Danang has skyrocketed since the opening of Ba Na Hills.

The number of tourists to Ba Na Hills has increased by 160 times over the past decade. Tourist arrivals to Danang also posted an impressive growth of 463 per cent. According to a survey, every two in three international tourists to Danang will visit the Golden Bridge, which has been ranked among the top 100 World's Greatest Places in 2018.

ba na hills turns vietnam into emerging leisure tourism destination
Ba Na Hills has served as a springboard for the development of leisure tourism in Vietnam

Laying the basis for Vietnam’s leisure tourism

After 10 years of operation, Ba Na Hills has made great contributions to the development of Vietnam’s tourism industry. Vietnam welcomed 15.5 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2018 and 7.3 million in the first five months of 2019. In 2016, Danang received 1.28 million foreign visitors, which is four times as much as in 2009. As of present, Danang posted 25 per cent increase in the number of foreign tourist arrivals and 30.6 per cent in tourism revenue. The city welcomed 7.6 million foreign tourists in 2018 and 1.8 million in the first three months of 2019.

In the past, tourists mainly focused on sightseeing activities and exploring new landscapes and culture. However, their demand has gradually changed as the economy grows and integrates ever-deeper into the world economy. Now tourist attractions are designed with many interesting recreational facilities to create memorable experiences for tourists. Leisure tourism is also a gold mine for the country and investors to capitalise on the tremendous opportunities of this trend. Disney Land theme parks are testament to the success of leisure tourism.

Ba Na Hills has become a springboard for Vietnam’s leisure tourism industry. The Sun World chain under Sun Group comprises of five entertainment parks across the country, including Sun World Danang Wonders (Danang), Sun World Fansipan Legend (Lao Cai), Sun World Halong Complex (Quang Ninh), and Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park (south Phu Quoc). Vingroup has built Vinpearl Land in many popular destinations like Nha Trang and Phu Quoc. Arena has the Arena Cam Ranh holiday and entertainment complex. It is clear that the popularity of Ba Na Hills along with other entertainment projects in the pipeline has made Vietnam an emerging destination for leisure tourism in the world.

ba na hills turns vietnam into emerging leisure tourism destination
Ba Na Hills is known for its spectacular scenery and exciting festivals

By Thanh Van

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