As the storm season approaches, Vietnam’s popular tourist destinations, Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island, are facing disruptions in their tourism activities. Storm Talim, the first storm to form over the East Sea this year, is forecasted to make landfall in the northern Quang Ninh Province, home to the UNESCO heritage site Ha Long Bay, and Hai Phong City, where Cat Ba Island is located. The authorities have taken necessary precautions, including suspending boat and ship activities to ensure the safety of tourists. Consequently, cruise tour operators and hotels in the region are grappling with the impact of the storm, leading to cancellations and losses.
Storm Talim’s Threat to Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island
Storm Talim’s approach has raised concerns for the safety of tourists visiting Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island. Both locations are renowned for their stunning natural beauty and attract a significant number of domestic and overseas visitors, especially during this time of the year. However, with the storm’s imminent landfall, authorities have taken decisive actions to safeguard everyone in the affected areas.
Tourism Activities Suspended: Cruise Tours in Desperate Situation
In anticipation of Storm Talim’s arrival, the authorities in Quang Ninh and Hai Phong have banned all boats and ships from going to sea. Tourism activities, including cruise tours, have been suspended to prevent any potential risks to tourists. This has put cruise tour operators in a desperate situation as they have to deal with immediate cancellations and uncertainties about the future.
The Impact on Cruise Operators: Losses and Cancellations
Prominent cruise operators, such as Lux Group, have faced significant losses due to the sudden cancellation of their tours. For instance, Lux Group’s cruise ship, Heritage, returned to dock in Hai Phong after the ban was announced. Moreover, overnight cruise tours on Lan Ha Bay, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, were already canceled, affecting 20 fully booked rooms with prices of VND 11 million ($464.78) per night. The cancellation has resulted in losses amounting to more than VND 100 million per night for the company.
Ha Long Bay: A Top Tourist Attraction
Ha Long Bay, located approximately 200 kilometers northeast of Hanoi, is one of Vietnam’s most famous tourist attractions. Its breathtaking natural landscapes, limestone karsts, and emerald waters have drawn tens of thousands of visitors every year, many of whom opt for overnight boat tours to fully immerse themselves in the bay’s beauty.
The Fate of Hotels on Cat Ba Island and Ha Long
The impact of Storm Talim is not limited to cruise tours. Hotels on Cat Ba Island, the gateway to Lan Ha Bay, and those in Ha Long have also faced cancellations. Many guests have requested to cancel their rooms in response to the storm’s approach, further exacerbating the situation for businesses that heavily rely on tourism.
Safety Measures: Public Beaches and Evacuations
In addition to suspending boat activities, Quang Ninh also closed its public beaches from Monday afternoon, taking precautionary measures to safeguard beachgoers. Local authorities have been proactive in informing tourists about the storm, resulting in the safe evacuation of many visitors from Co To island.
The Aviation Sector: Airport Operations and Flight Delays
As Storm Talim’s impact extends beyond the coastal regions, the aviation sector has also been affected. Operations at four airports—Van Don in Quang Ninh, Cat Bi in Hai Phong City, Noi Bai in Hanoi, and Tho Xuan in Thanh Hoa—will be impacted by the storm. Numerous international flights to and from Vietnam on Monday experienced delays due to the storm’s influence.
As Storm Talim makes its approach to Vietnam’s northern coastal regions, authorities have prioritized the safety of tourists and residents alike. The suspension of tourism activities, including cruise tours and beach access, is a necessary measure to mitigate potential risks. While the storm has resulted in cancellations and financial losses for businesses, it remains crucial to prioritize the well-being of everyone in the affected areas.
- What is Storm Talim’s forecasted landfall location? Storm Talim is forecasted to make landfall in the northern Quang Ninh Province, where Ha Long Bay is situated, and in Hai Phong City, known for Cat Ba Island.
- How have cruise tour operators been impacted by the storm? Cruise tour operators, like Lux Group, have faced losses due to immediate cancellations of their tours and the uncertainty surrounding future operations.
- What is Ha Long Bay known for? Ha Long Bay is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, including limestone karsts and emerald waters, making it one of Vietnam’s top tourist attractions.
- Are public beaches closed during the storm? Yes, in response to Storm Talim, Quang Ninh has closed its public beaches to ensure the safety of beachgoers.
- How has the aviation sector been affected by the storm? Operations at several airports, including Van Don, Cat Bi, Noi Bai, and Tho Xuan, will be impacted by the storm, leading to flight delays and disruptions.