With its broad sandy beaches, forested hillsides, mouthwatering dishes, and upbeat lifestyle, Danang is a dream destination for many. Lying at the southern end of a horseshoe-shaped bay, Danang was recently named one of the top 10 cities in Southeast Asia by Travel+Leisure magazine and Asia’s leading festival and event destination by the World Travel Awards.
It’s no wonder foreign travelers, especially South Koreans, have their eyes on the coastal city in the central region. Seoul-based travel firm Yellow Balloon Travel Co., Ltd revealed that Danang is South Koreans' most-chosen tourist destination this summer. Bookings in June increased by nearly 3000% compared to May 2022.
Danang has always been famous for its sandy beaches and turquoise seas. But it started to attract more foreign tourists when luxury hotels offering exclusive experiences sprouted and the Insta-worthy Bana Hills and the Golden Bridge opened.
South Koreans also lead overall foreign arrivals, with more than 56,500 visitors coming in from January to May, a 3.3 times increase from last year. In 2019, Vietnam served 4.3 million visitors from South Korea, accounting for 23.8% of the total number of travelers to Vietnam.
Yellow Balloon highlighted the availability of direct flights, reasonable travel schedule, and availability of entertainment and tourism facilities as significant factors in Koreans’ growing interest in the city, Vietnam Insider reported.
After a two-year suspension, direct flights between Danang and South Korea have restarted, with Vietjet having recently announced it opened a direct route between the Vietnamese city and Busan. Vietnam Airlines also offers multiple flights between Incheon and Danang daily.
On the South Korean side, Korean Air, the biggest airline in Korea, restored direct flights from Incheon to Danang. Jin Air has increased its Incheon-Danang routes to seven flights a week, while Busan Air flies from Busan to Danang every two weeks on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Direct air routes are also in the works to connect Jeolla province and Danang via the Muan International Airport.
Flight bookings from South Korea to Danang have also been steadily increasing since the full border reopening on March 15. Bookings for July and August flights are already now 337% more than the previous month, Sedaily told Vietnam Insider.
Along with the border reopening, Vietnam has also reintroduced its visa waiver program for South Korean tourists, allowing them up to 15 days of stay in the Southeast Asian country. Tourists don’t need to present proof of vaccination or COVID-19 test, nor do they need to undergo any form of quarantine granting they don’t have any symptoms of the coronavirus.
Last month, Danang’s tourism department gave out free COVID-19 antigen tests for South Korean tourists traveling back to their country. With the East Asian country seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, all arrivals must present a negative PCR result within 48 hours or a rapid test for antigen within 24 hours.
To further facilitate tourism recovery between the two countries, a ‘Daegu-Danang Tourism Promotion Week’ will be held using VR360 virtual reality technology and the online channel Danang Fantasticity.
Vietnam and South Korea celebrate 30 years of bilateral diplomatic relations this year. Both nations have pledged to increase cooperation in trade and tourism. Vietnam Tourism Ambassador to South Korea Lee Chang-kun said in April that Vietnam’s diverse landscapes are ideal for South Korean travelers.