Despite the global economic downturn, the number of foreign tourists traveling to Việt Nam by sea increased sharply during the first seven months of this year.

On 28 July, Mr Trần Hùng Việt, General Director of the Saigontourist Company, said that his company had received 145,000 sea travelers in the period January-July 2012, representing a fourfold increase over the same period last year. Most of these tourists came from Europe, the USA and Japan.

Việt said that while most of the visitors came to Việt Nam to attend seminars and trade fairs and go sightseeing for just a few days, they had spent a lot of money purchasing goods and staying at five-star resorts.

Việt Nam has a long coastline, which is very favourable for sea tourism. Foreign cruise ships generally run along the coastline, docking at various ports, including Hồ Chí Minh City, Nha Trang, Đà Nẵng and Hải Phòng.