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Da Nang launched the tourist season in 2018 on April 27 at the Bien Dong Park in the city's Son Tra peninsula with a programme of more than 20 activities, aiming to lure and entertain visitors to the coastal city.

Prominent among the events will be a Kayak racing competition, a kite contest and pavilions introducing Da Nang tourism information, sea cuisines, tour services and performance of sea sports. Music performances will also be organised every night.

A painting contest themed sea and islands will be held for children, together with various other activities.

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The number of tourists to the central coastal city of Da Nang reached more than 355,500 on holidays between April 28 and May 1, a year-on-year surge of 14.2 percent.

Of the total, there were over 101,600 foreigners and 253,900 domestic holiday-makers, up 20.2 percent and 12 percent respectively from the same time last year.

The majority of foreign visitors were from the Republic of Korea, Japan and China. They came to the city via direct flights.

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DANANG’S NEW ARIYANA CONVENTION CENTRE TO GET MORE ACCOMMODATION SUPPORT

Vietnamese company Sovico Holdings is transforming the landscape of Danang's beachfront with the expansion of the Ariyana Tourism Complex, which will in two years' time welcome a 1,400-key luxury resort to support its new Ariyana Convention Centre, where a week-long series of APEC meetings and related events were held earlier this month.

Ariyana Tourism Complex also comprises the luxury Furama Resort Danang, Furama Villas Danang and the International Convention Palace – all products of Sovico Holdings which altogether elevate Danang's status as a serious contender for international business events, as per the opinion of Mr. Nguyen Duc Quynh, deputy general director, Furama Resort Danang.

The three-storey beachfront Ariyana Convention Centre, opened in mid-October, takes in 12 multifunctional rooms, three of which can be split into multiple spaces. The largest facility is the Ariyana Grand Ballroom, a massive 2,079m2 pillarless hall with a nine-metre-high ceiling that can seat 2,500 people in a theatre setting, and be divided into four smaller spaces.

Although the Ariyana Convention Centre is part of a bigger complex with hotel accommodation, Nguyen said it – as well as the "warmer, boutique-style venue" International Convention Palace – is marketed as a "standalone venue to be used by any event coming to Danang with attendees staying anywhere in the destination".

However, there is no doubt that the 1,400-room Ariyana Beach Resort and Suite Danang, opening in two years' time, will be a more convenient accommodation option for delegates attending events at Ariyana Convention Centre. Guests will enjoy complimentary tram and shuttle bus rides between the hotel and convention centre, with the journey taking no more than a couple of minutes.

"Ariyana Beach Resort and Suite Danang will be geared towards business travellers, and is meant to support big events coming to Ariyana," Nguyen said, adding that next on the plans are upgrading works for Furama Resort Danang.

Meanwhile, efforts to sustain Ariyana Convention Centre's post-APEC meetings business momentum include participation in selected travel tradeshows such as IT&CMA and AIME, organisation of trade events that bring travel agents and event planners to Danang, and roadshows in key source markets.

"In terms of key markets, we are keen on Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia," Nguyen shared.

The team hosted a networking party in Singapore on Tuesday, with selected business event planners on the invite list. Following that, Nguyen has plans to head to Hong Kong, and to conduct a roadshow during AIME in Melbourne next February, and another in Sydney.

Besides high-profile APEC events, Ariyana Convention Centre has secured a tradeshow in March 2018 for an exhibition with 200 booths and conference for 900 people, and two incentives of 2,000 people each in May 2018 – one from the US and the other from Malaysia.

"These events allow us to exceed our sales targets for March and May," remarked Nguyen.

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