Vietnam's coastal city of Da Nang attracts investment due to sandy beaches and mountainous scenery

One of Vietnam’s fastest-rising tourist destinations, the central coastal city of Da Nang has received significant international attention for its sandy beaches, mountainous scenery, and world-renowned luxury hillside resort in recent years, with airlines moving to increase services to the city in a bid to meet rising tourism demand. Visitor arrivals are set to grow again in 2017, after recording double-digit expansion in 2016, with the city moving to launch a new marketing campaign alongside two of its regional neighbours.

Natural Beauty

A tourist hotspot located in central Vietnam, Da Nang is best known for its history as a French colonial port, as well as its vast stretches of beautiful sandy beaches. The city is a popular base for tourists visiting the inland Ba Na hills, with millions flocking to the Hai Van Pass each year for spectacular views of Da Nang Bay and the surrounding Marble Mountains, which are home to pagodas and caves containing Buddhist shrines. Da Nang has received considerable acclaim from the global tourism industry in 2016; it was named one of Smart Travel Asia’s Top 10 Holiday Destinations in November, and also won the World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia’s Leading Festival and Event Destination award in October.

Award-Winning Accommodation

The city’s luxury resort, the InterContinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort, has also achieved global renown. In October 2016 it became the only resort in history to win the WTA’s “World’s Leading Luxury Resort” prize for three consecutive years. The hillside resort is situated 600 metres above sea level on the Son Tra Peninsula, 10 km outside the city centre. In 2016 it also won the WTA’s “Asia’s Leading Luxury Resort”, “Vietnam’s Leading Resort” and “Vietnam’s Leading Spa Resort” awards.

On top of its numerous WTA awards, the resort has also been named “The Top Resort in Asia” by Condé Nast Traveller, the “Best Resort Hotel in the Asia-Pacific” by the Business Traveller and listed as one of the top 21 most beautiful beach-front hotels by CNN.

It was designed by famed American architect Bill Bensley on four themed levels: heaven, sky, earth and sea, later winning a “Best Achievement in Design” award from Virtuoso Life Magazine in 2015, as well as a spot on the magazine’s “Best New Hotels in the World” list in 2012. Its renown should be further enhanced in 2017, when it hosts several major events for the Asia-Pacific Economic Community Summit.

Rising Popularity

Da Nang has become increasingly popular in recent years, as evidenced by rising tourist arrivals. Visitors to the city stood at 4.6m in 2015, of which 1.25m were foreign tourists. International visitor arrivals soared to 800,000 during the first six months of 2016, a 30% year-on-year increase, and reached some 1.6m during the first 11 months of the year, up 28% on the 2015 total.

As a result of its rising popularity, tourism stakeholders are increasingly shifting their focus to the city. In December 2016, for example, leading Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet Air announced it plans to launch a new direct charter flight between Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan Province, and Da Nang, beginning in January 2017. One Airbus 320 is scheduled to fly the route each week in a bid to capture rising numbers of Chinese visitors. Da Nang also connects to South Korea via direct charter flight during peak season.

Essence Of Vietnam

The city could see arrivals rise further in 2017 on the back of new investment in marketing campaigns. In May 2016 the cities of Da Nang, Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue launched a new marketing campaign aimed at further bolstering rising visitor arrivals. The campaign, called “The Essence of Vietnam”, will cross-promote key attractions and services in all three areas.

The project is being developed with support from the EU’s Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development programme, with the aim of better facilitating travel for visitors who go to more than one destination along the country’s central coast.


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The Report: Vietnam 2017

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