Da Nang has made significant strides in developing its tourism industry in recent years, becoming a crucial contributor to the city’s economy. The industry has played a vital role in spurring growth in other sectors while creating numerous job opportunities for the local community and businesses.
Over the past 15 years, Da Nang has successfully organized unique and nationally recognized festival events, including the International Fireworks Festival, the Asian Beach Games (ABG5), Clipper Race Worldwide, and sailing races.
This success can be attributed to the city’s creative ideas, the determined efforts of its political system, and the support and collaboration of local businesses. It is noteworthy that Da Nang’s tourism industry has received international acclaim for its achievements, most notably the title Asia’s Leading Event and Festival Destination from the World Travel Awards 2016. In 2017, the city was honored to host the APEC Summit Week successfully.
In 2022, Da Nang received the prestigious “Asia’s Leading Destination” award again, surpassing many other famous destinations such as Bangkok, Macao, Hong Kong, Shanghai, China, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, and Singapore. This recognition further solidifies Da Nang’s position as a leading tourism destination in the region.
In 2022, Da Nang was awarded four prestigious titles, including three from international organizations”
(1) In May 2022, TripAdvisor recognized Da Nang as the top favorite destination in Asia based on votes from travelers worldwide as part of their esteemed Traveler’s Choice program. The city was commended for its comfortable and friendly atmosphere, attractive cuisine, and cultural significance. The TripAdvisor also recommends exploring the breathtaking Marble Mountains and indulging in the local street food. This annual award by TripAdvisor is a prestigious honor for accommodations and attractions worldwide.
(2) In July 2022, Da Nang was ranked as Southeast Asia’s 3rd best tourist city for 2022 at the Asia’s Best Awards 2022, presented by the esteemed travel magazine Travel & Leisure, based in New York, USA. The evaluation criteria used included landscapes, culture, cuisine, friendliness of local people, and shopping. This remarkable achievement was a testament to the city’s tourism industry, facing numerous difficulties and challenges lately.
(3) In September 2022, Da Nang was again honored with the prestigious title of Asia’s Leading Event and Festival Destination at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Ceremony. This award marks the second time Da Nang has won in this category since 2016. It further cements its position as a modern and safe destination with a growing reputation for hosting world-class international events. Over the past two years, Da Nang has played host to numerous successful international events, including the Asian Route Development Forum (Routes) 2022, Hot Air Balloon Festival 2022, Da Nang Golf Tourism Festival and BRG Open Golf Championship, Da Nang International Fireworks Festival DIFF, Enjoy Da Nang Summer Festival, Asian Film Festival at Da Nang, and many others. These events were highly praised for their innovative content, script, investment in image quality, and diverse entertainment, attracting many people and tourists to participate and experience.
In the esteemed World Travel Awards 2022, Sun World Ba Na Hills in Da Nang was honored with three awards, including “World’s leading cable car system”, “Tourist destination”, “World’s leading iconic tourist attraction calendar” and “World’s leading iconic tourist bridge” for the Golden Bridge. InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Da Nang was also recognized as “The world’s leading environmentally friendly resort”.
Moreover, on November 15, 2023, Condé Nast Traveler Magazine (CN Traveler), a prestigious travel magazine specializing in luxury and high-end travel, declared Da Nang as the sole representative of Vietnam, ranked 2nd in the Top 11 best destinations in Asia for 2024. Da Nang met several rigorous criteria set by CN Traveler and the editorial team to earn this accolade. The city’s iconic bridges, such as the Golden Bridge, Dragon Bridge, and Han River Bridge, which link Hoi An’s ancient town and Hue’s ancient capital, were among the reasons that impressed tourism experts worldwide. Furthermore, new experiences, events, festivals, and improved infrastructure conditions of tourist attractions and accommodation facilities were additional reasons that contributed to Da Nang’s ranking.
2023 was considered a bumper year for Da Nang tourism. It received numerous accolades, including being voted the most sought-after domestic destination by Vietnamese tourists during the summer of 2023 on Booking.com. Da Nang was also ranked second among the fastest-growing “digital nomad” destinations worldwide by Outlook Traveler due to its commendable facilities such as free Wi-Fi service in the central area, fast internet speed, stunning scenery, fresh air, easy visa ability, political stability, public security, and other factors.
Da Nang is a coastal city boasting a long, smooth white sand strip that gently curves on the beach, making it ideal for sunbathing and various water sports. My Khe Beach is the most popular and well-known among residents and tourists. It is located closest to the city center. It is considered ideal for leisurely sand walks and participating in water sports. Non-Nuoc beach has blue water, while Bac My An beach has a series of 5-star resorts with air space reserved for tourists.
In February 2023, TripAdvisor awarded My Khe Beach as one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. The award was part of the Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best awards, which honors destinations, hotels, and restaurants. The results were based on votes from readers and experts worldwide over 12 months, meeting several criteria set by the organizers, including Da Nang appearing on TripAdvisor for a minimum of one year and having the highest number of votes. My Khe beach has fine sand, a gentle slope, and clear and warm water, making it suitable for swimming throughout the year. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia.
It is noteworthy that Da Nang has become an increasingly popular destination for domestic and international tourists over the years, a testament to its unique appeal and charm. The city experienced a notable rise in visitor numbers, with 8 million tourists visiting in 2019, a six-fold increase from 2010. Despite the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, Da Nang showed remarkable resilience, welcoming 7.39 million visitors in 2020, representing a 92% recovery rate compared to 2019. The city’s international appeal also grew substantially, with international visitors rising from 199 thousand in 2010 to 3.2 million in 2019, a 16-fold increase. Even after the pandemic, Da Nang recovered almost 62% of its international visitors, with 1.98 million visitors arriving in 2020. It is clear that Da Nang’s allure is unparalleled, and it continues to be a must-visit destination for travelers worldwide.
WHAT DID DA NANG DO?
Da Nang has received significant attention and support from the Politburo, Government, Ministries, and Central branches. With the passing of Resolution No. 33-NQ/TW and Resolution No. 43-NQ/TW, Da Nang now has a long-term vision for its development that will offer numerous opportunities to grow and thrive. The goal is to transform Da Nang into a major socio-economic center of the country and Southeast Asia by 2030. To achieve this, it will become a hub for startups, industry, innovation, tourism, trade, finance, logistics, high-tech industry, information technology, and supporting industries. Da Nang will also be a center for culture, sports, education, high-quality healthcare, science, and technology development and for organizing regional and international events. It will be a seaport city, an international coastal urban area, and a nucleus of the urban chain and growth pole of the critical economic region of the Central Highlands. These ambitious plans demonstrate the great potential and confidence in Da Nang’s future growth and development.
The city of Da Nang has acknowledged the active and significant participation of the entire political system, businesses, and the community towards sustainable tourism development. The city has focused on enhancing sustainable tourism while ensuring national security and defense through planning strategies and specific development orientations. The authorities established several plans and decisions to achieve this goal, such as: Action Plan No. 10652/KH-UBND dated December 30, 2019; Decision No. 1679/QD-UBND dated April 17, 2019, which approves the Project to develop Da Nang City’s tourism industry until 2025 with a vision to 2030. The city is making significant efforts to build Da Nang into a leading regional tourism and service destination, an event city, and an international conference center, as outlined in Program No. 38-CTr/TU dated January 31, 2020; Decision No. 190/QD-UBND, dated January 17, 2020, approves the Project orienting the development of a system of tourist accommodation facilities in Da Nang City from 2020 to 2030. Additionally, Plan No. 2984/KH-UBND, dated May 7, 2020, and Decision No. 3613/QD-UBND, dated September 28, 2020, focus on developing high-quality tourism and services associated with resort real estate and the Night Economy Development Project in Da Nang City, respectively. Decision No. 3860/QD-UBND, dated October 13, 2020, has approved the Project to restructure Da Nang’s tourism industry until 2025 with a vision to 2030. The city continues to work towards its tourism development goals, as demonstrated by Plan No. 7513/KH-UBND dated November 16, 2020, which outlines the tourism development plan for Da Nang from 2021 – 2025. Finally, Decision No. 2726/QD-UBND dated October 19, 2022, approves the Project on tourism development orientation of Da Nang City to 2030, vision to 2045, and Plan No. 229/KH-UBND dated December 20, 2023, and Decision No. 2936/QD-UBND dated December 29, 2023, focus on tourism development in Da Nang city in 2024 and developing inland waterway tourism in Da Nang city until 2030 with a vision to 2045.
Da Nang City has made remarkable progress in recent years by completing a modern and synchronized infrastructure system with a range of professional and high-quality tourism service facilities. This has attracted strategic investors, including Sun Group, Vin Group, DHC, Alphanam, TMS Group, BRG Group, Sovico Holdings, and Mikazuki, who have significantly contributed to transforming the face of Da Nang tourism. The city prioritizes public investment capital for tourism development, focusing on modern social infrastructure, roads, parks, and walking gardens, The International Passenger Terminal at Da Nang International Airport (3,500 billion VND). The Han River port is being renovated to welcome tourists.
As of December 2023, the city now has boasted 16 tourist attractions and spots, an increase of 9 ones compared to 2010. There are now 1,285 tourist accommodation establishments with over 46 thousand rooms, an increase of 1,104 establishments and more than 40 thousand rooms compared to 2010. Many high-end hotels and resorts have been invested in and put into operation with famous international brands such as Intercontinental, Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriott, Pullman, Novotel, and Mercure. World-leading hotel groups such as IHG, Accor, and Hilton manage and operate these hotels. Investors have focused on developing areas, attractions, tourism, and theme parks offering unique services. Examples include Sun World Danang Wonder and Sun World Ba Na Hills, which feature the unique Golden Bridge that attracts large crowds of domestic and foreign tourists, as well as the Ba Na golf course, Nui Than Tai hot spring park, Mikazuki Japanese Resorts & Spa tourist area, Mikazuki 365 Water Park, 02 BRG golf courses, and Ariyana Convention Center. These initiatives have undoubtedly helped to promote the city’s tourism industry and attract visitors from all over the world.
Da Nang City has proactively mobilized various resources to promote tourism development. The city has allocated funds from its budget to support events, festivals, promotions, advertising, training, and cooperation. Furthermore, the city has successfully secured resources from businesses and investors. It is worth noting that Da Nang was the first city in the country to establish and announce the City Tourism Development Promotion Fund in May 2020, and they are currently exploring further options for its formation. They also have a city event organization fund.
Da Nang is investing heavily in tourism products to ensure that its services meet the needs and preferences of tourists. The city focuses on three types of tourism products – typical, leading, and supporting – based on their resources, potential, topographical location, and advantages. In addition, they strive to meet high-quality standards, with a particular emphasis on developing high-end product lines and services. Da Nang is keen to become an international event and conference center. They have formed nine tourism product groups that are attracting visitors to the city. These groups include the festival/event tourism; the cultural-historical tourism along with entertainment; the beach tourism associated with resort real estate; the night-time tourism; the waterway tourism; the ecotourism, agritourism and community tourism; the MICE tourism; the golf tourism; and the wedding-based tourism.
Da Nang continuously innovates and promotes its destination and market exploitation in various forms and contents. They are updating their communication strategies to align with global tourism trends and preferences.
They use online platforms, social networks, domestic and international press, celebrities, domestic and international market promotion events, tourism stimulus programs, air routes, sea routes, regional links, and international cooperation to achieve their goals. They have launched the “Da Nang FantastiCity” brand to create a common identity for Da Nang tourism. This brand includes mascots, a travel chatbot application, a Danang FantastiCity application on mobile platforms, an excellent Da Nang music video, and unique promotional video clips that significantly position the Da Nang tourism brand. The central and local press agencies also support the city’s tourism activities, events, and festivals.
Da Nang is firmly committed to ensuring high-quality services and human resource training that meets the needs of its customers. To achieve this, the city has deployed and maintained professional standards in operations and services for tourists. It conducts between 20-30 training and fostering classes annually to train tourism human resources on various aspects such as professional customer service attitude, receptionist operations, housekeeping, hotel management, e-tourism, boat tourism operations, drivers, tour guides, tourist service skills for workers in the night-time economy, regional food preparation, online sales skills, digital transformation, cooking and housekeeping skills for community tourism, rural tourism, and more. The city conducts periodic surveys to classify tourism workers’ professional qualifications to develop appropriate training plans. It also organizes competitions to improve the skills of receptionists, housekeeping staff, chefs, tour guides, and others. The city supports businesses and training facilities in building and using international foreign language standards for tourism human resources. Additionally, the Da Nang Department of Tourism collaborates with the Tourism Association and member associations to organize programs that improve the quality of tourism human resources. Legal documents on tourism are disseminated in many forms, and the e-learning website daotaodulichdanang.com is maintained. The department advises the City People’s Committee to organize seminars to discuss and support the removal of difficulties and obstacles faced by investors, businesses, and tourism human resources.
Da Nang takes pride in ensuring a safe tourism environment in terms of security, environmental sanitation, and rescue work. Da Nang is at the forefront of ensuring security and safety with a fully invested public toilet system, the “Comfort as Home” community toilet project with high concentrations of tourists. Several annual campaigns are organized to clean up and preserve the tourist environment, natural resources, culture, and history with utmost care. The Tourist Support Center provides advice and assistance to an average of 40-50 thousand visitors annually with thousands of calls, emails, and messages from tourists. The tourism rapid response team has been successful since its establishment in 2016, receiving an annual average of nearly 100-150 feedback calls from organizations, citizens, and tourists and coordinating with relevant agencies for timely support and handling. The city takes measures to rectify business activities that do not comply with regulations, prevent tax loss, and manage foreign activities. It also ensures timely support and rescue work for dozens of cases of tourists drowning at tourist beaches and getting lost in the Son Tra peninsula.
Vision for 2045: Da Nang aims to become Asia’s top destination for high-end, creative, green, innovative marine and ecological resort tourism, conference organizing, and international festival events
To achieve the goal, Da Nang tourism will promote lessons learned, achieve results, and focus on implementing the following directions and solutions:
(1) Orienting and planning sustainable tourism strategies across ten functional tourism spaces.
(2) Prioritizing investment resources in developing infrastructure for tourism and forming tourism products/services. The focus is on developing and forming three product groups: specific tourism products, which may consist of sea tourism and luxury resorts; urban tourism associated with shopping, entertainment, and MICE tourism; golf tourism, cultural and historical calendar, and ecotourism; main tourism products, including night tourism, inland waterway tourism, culinary tourism, community tourism, agritourism; and supporting tourism products, among them medical and care tourism health, wedding tourism, and educational tourism.
(3) Enhancing the mechanisms and policies for tourism development.
(4) Strengthening market research and promotion of tourism for both domestic and international markets. This includes restoring and promoting vital international markets in Northeast and Southeast Asia and attracting potential markets such as India, Australia, America, and Northern Europe. Furthermore, exploring new markets such as the Middle East, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan would be beneficial.
(5) Increasing the use of science and technology, developing and enhancing the skills of the tourism workforce, establishing partnerships domestically and internationally to promote tourism development, considering the sustainability of tourism, and adapting to climate change.