There has been an increase in the number of foreign tourists arriving that has coincided with the Lunar New Year in Vietnam.
A sharp increase in the number of international tourists on Tet holiday
According to Saigontourist, on February 8, cruise ship Celebrity Constellation arrived at Tan Cang Cai Mep Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, bringing 2,500 visitors from different countries, including the UK, France and the US.
Earlier, the ship also came to Da Nang for visitors to see the city and several other localities in the central region. The tourists will visit HCM City and My Tho City in Tien Giang Province.
Saigontourist said that they are expected to serve a total of around 34,000 travellers who come to Vietnam by sea ahead of and during Tet. They will be transported by international cruise ships such as Glory Sea, Celebrity Constellation, World Dream, SuperStar Gemini, Celebrity Millennium and Mariner of the Seas.
Many travel companies have focused on tours to provide real Tet experiences.
Fiditour has organised a Tet tour for a group of Polish visitors. There, they have a chance to wrap Tet cake by themselves, write calligraphy and enjoy Vietnam’s traditional food for Tet.
According to Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursions Company, these days, the number of foreign tourists who arrived in HCM City by sea has been on the rise.
The General Statistics Office reported that Vietnam welcomed 1.43 million foreign travellers in January this year, up 42% on-year. Last year, the country received a record 12.9 million foreign visitors, a year-on-year increase of 29.1%, the office added.
In 2018, Vietnam has set a target to serve 15-17 million international visitors with total revenues of around VND620 trillion (around USD28.2 billion).
About Tet holiday
Tết, or Vietnamese New Year, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The word is a shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán, which is Sino-Vietnamese for “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day”. Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese calendar, which usually has the date falling in January or February.
Vietnamese people celebrate the Lunar New Year annually, which is based on a lunisolar calendar (calculating both the earth’s movement around the sun and the moon around the earth). Tết is generally celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year, except when the one-hour time difference between Vietnam and China results in new moon occurring on different days. It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day.
Many Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking special holiday food and cleaning the house. These foods include bánh chưng, bánh dày, dried young bamboo soup (canh măng), giò, and sticky rice. Many customs are practiced during Tết, such as visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestor worship, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop.
Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. They start forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hope for a better upcoming year. They consider Tết to be the first day of spring, and the festival is often called Hội xuân (spring festival).
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