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Danang industry eyes the potential of Hong Kong market in 2018, and aim to boost further actions for a sustainable development besides its recent strong markets of China and Korea.

Statistics by the Tourism Department showed that, for the first 6 months of 2018, 7,193 Hong Kong visitors arrived to Danang and witnessed a jump from 11,046 visitors in 2016 to 14,903 visitors in 2017. It is reported to increase 35% last year.

Mr. Johnny Li, Managing Director Gateway Group Limited in Hong Kong opined: "Danang has recently emerged as an attractive destination for foreign visitors. The recent Danang tourism presentation has helped Hong Kong travel agencies gain an in-depth look into luxurious accommodation services as well as the developing MICE market in Danang."

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Located along sections of Mai Hac De and Ly Nam De streets in Da Nang's Son Tra District, the Son Tra Night Market was officially opened to the public on Sunday evening. It daily operates from 6.00pm until midnight, and admission is free for all visitors.

The new night market features a total of 152 stalls selling food and drinks, souvenirs, fashionable clothes, bags, footwear, specialties, dried seafood, books, pictures and other commodities.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chairwoman of the Son Tra District People's Committee, Mrs Tran Thi Thanh Tam, remarked that the purpose of the Son Tra Night Market was to to create a combined tourist and shopping space in the inner city, allowing visitors to comfortably shop, enjoy entertainment services and explore local cultural characteristics. This would help the city deal with the current lack of its own special tourism products.

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From December 4th – 7th 2017, Danang Center for Tourism Promotion has hosted the first Familiarization (FAM) Trip from India in a series of exploiting upcoming FAM trips from potential markets. The Indian FAM Trip consisted of 14 participants who are representatives from the leading Indian tour operators, corporate companies and M.I.C.E planners.

The Central Coast's natural landscapes and popular tourist destinations were showcased to the Indian FAM Trip by the Center for Tourism Promotion, featuring Marble Mountains, Cham Museum, Ba Na Hills, Son Tra Peninsula, Linh Ung pagoda as well as the UNESCO-recognized Hoi An Ancient Town, Thanh Ha Pottery Village and M.I.C.E destinations, including Ariyana Convention Centre (ACC) – the key venue for APEC Summit 2017, attracting leaders and some 15,000 delegates from 21 member economies and the luxury Furama Resort Danang, ACC's management company.

According to the Danang Municipal Department of Tourism, Danang has welcomed more than 1,700,000 visitors during the first 9 months of 2017. About 440,000 travellers came to Da Nang from China, up by 23% and 680,000 from South Korea, double the same period last year, ranking the first among international arrivals to the coastal city. Therefore, the promotion of Danang to the world's second populous country (1.3 billion) will be a practical solution to balance the uneven distribution between other large markets such as South Korea and China, contributing to reduce the considerable risks posed such as illegal foreign tour guides.

Mr. Nguyen Duc Quynh, Deputy General Director of Furama Resort Danang, the management company of Ariyana Convention Centre: "We have been conducting business plans in order to approach the Indian market, including doing market research, recruiting more Sales and Marketing staff for this populous market. In addition, a culinary exchange to promote traditional Vietnamese cuisine to Indian people has been utilized at the Cilantron Restaurant in the luxurious Trident Hotel Gurgaon, New Delhi from July 2th to 10th 2016, wooing hundreds of Indian gourmets with the finest Vietnamese gastronomy.

The Indian Food Festival, a first-time event, held at Furama Resort from May 26th to 29th 2016 attracted hundreds of Central region residents and foreign visitors to this culinary resort to immerge in all the "delights of the senses" that reflect the riches of Indian Culture. This one-of-a-kind festival saw the attendance of 2 Chefs, Mr. Sandeep Kalra and Mr. Bhagwat Singh from the fabulous 5-star Trident Gurgaon Hotel in New Delhi, showcasing their artistic flare with the special blending of Indian herbs and spices at the Indian A la Carte Lunch and Buffet Dinner. In particular, the Indian Lunch introduced 20 signature Indian delicacies including 'Goan shrimp curry', 'Mulligatawny soup', 'Kashmiri maaz seekh kababa'."

"Inviting Indian chefs for direct training at Furama Resort Danang and deploying refresher training programs in India for Furama chefs will facilitate tourism development."

In attempting to attract more foreign visitors in general and Indian tourists in particular, Danang has already developed many new and special tourism products such as the 'Charming Danang' arts programme, several new adventure games at Asia Park and the first 300m-long zip line cable at the Hoa Phu Thanh tourist site, etc...

"We have also secured a three-day SATTE International Travel & Tourism Trade Show - The South Asia's largest travel and tourism exhibition in the capital city of New Delhi, India, starting on 31st January, 2018", Nguyen said, adding on the plans to sustain Ariyana Convention Centre's post-APEC meetings business momentum and to introduce the Ariyana Beach Resort & Suites project which provides up to 1,400 rooms and will be a convenient option for delegates attending events at Ariyana Convention Centre.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Binh, Vice Director of Danang Department of Tourism hopefully remarked: "Danang will launch direct flights between the city and India cities very soon in the future."

Looking further ahead, India is the fastest growing market in Singapore. According to a report on tourist statistics from Singapore Tourism Board, this island welcomed more than 1,100,000 Indian visitors in 2016 and more than 848,000 visitors during the first 8 months of 2017, either for holidays or business purposes. Thailand - the land of smiles, has registered a 15% growth in Indian tourist arrivals in the first half of 2017, thanks to more direct flights from various Indian destinations. India is ranked sixth in terms of tourist arrivals in Thailand, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand. As many as 800,000 Indian tourists have visited the country till July this year, which has gone up by 16 per cent over 2016. By learning the experiences of promoting tourism to the Indian market of Singapore and Thailand, Da Nang is expected to attract more tourists from this potential market.

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