Vietnam’s Da Nang has beaten Phuket and Bali to the throne of most popular beach destination in Southeast Asia in 2018.
“The pace of growth in Da Nang has far exceeded that of Phuket and Bali thanks to the city’s good public safety record and lower risk of natural disasters,” Nikkei Asian Review said, quoting a Da Nang travel agent.
A sudden storm off Phuket capsized and sank a tourist boat, killing 47 Chinese last summer, which caused a record decline in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand last year, according to South China Morning Post.
Meanwhile, frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes on Bali have kept foreign tourists away from the beautiful island in recent years.
New data from Airbnb, an online accommodation marketplace, shows bookings in Da Nang have tripled over the past five years while the number of domestic and foreign arrivals surged by 2.5 times.
Last year it received 7.6 million tourists, 2.87 million of them foreigners, a 23.3 percent increase year-on-year. South Korea and China sent the largest group of visitors.
A string of new international flights have recently been launched to Da Nang from other Asian destinations, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea.
Da Nang, home to Asia’s most beautiful My Khe Beach and a neighbor of the popular ancient town of Hoi An in central Vietnam, is increasingly finding a place in foreign travel guides and magazines.
The Panama-based Live and Invest Overseas voted Da Nang among the world’s most livable cities earlier last year.
New York Times earlier this year included Da Nang in its 52 best places to visit in 2019 while Australian travel website Finder listed the city among 10 trending global destinations this year.
Da Nang is building its tourism brand around the annual International Fireworks Festival, earning it the moniker “the city of fireworks.”
The rising popularity of the Golden Bridge on Ba Na Hill since June last year has also helped boost Da Nang’s global profile.