Hanoi: First foreign visitors of 2018 receive warm welcome

Monday, 2018-01-01 17:56:44
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french passenger Lebreton Didier (centre) receives warm welcome at Noi Bai International Airport on the morning of January 1
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NDO/ VNA – Lebreton Didier, a passenger on Vietnam Airlines’ flight VN18 which landed at Noi Bai International Airport on the morning of January 1, became the first foreigner to set foot in Hanoi in 2018.

Didier and his group of 13 other visitors from France were treated to flowers and gifts and a musical performance.

The French national said that this is the third time he came to Vietnam and he plans to spend almost a month to discover the country’s beauty with his wife, adding that he was surprised by the warm welcome on the first day of the year.

Present at the greeting ceremony, Tran Duc Hai, Director of the municipal Department of Tourism noted that the event aims to promote Hanoi as a safe, friendly, quality and attractive destination for visitors. Last year, some 5 million foreigners came to the capital city of Hanoi.

The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, home to the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay, also held a ceremony to greet the year’s first international tourists at Tuan Chau International Port in Ha Long city on January 1.

In 2018, the locality expects to welcome 12 million visitors, including 5 million foreigners. Last year, nearly 10 million holiday-makers, comprising 4.2 million foreigners, chose Quang Ninh province to spend their holidays.

Meanwhile, the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai also enjoyed a good start for 2018, with the renowned Sa Pa town drawing 42,000 visitors during the three-day New Year holiday from December 30-January 1.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the first visitors who come from France were treated to art performances, and Vietnamese coffee and tea. They were also guided how to make “non la” (conical hats), flowers and locusts from coconut leaves.

Mbodj Camtam said she visits HCM City every New Year holiday, and travels to many locations like Phan Thiet and Binh Thuan with her family. She particularly noted the fusion of modernity and tradition in Vietnam’s development.

The same day, the central city of Da Nang welcomed the year’s first tourists, who flew in from the Republic of Korea (RoK) on Vietjet’s VJ881 flight. Also on the morning of January 1, nearly 2,000 Chinese holiday makers arrived in the city on cruise liner MSC Lirica.