Untold stories uncovered

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was controlled in Vietnam, last weekend, we returned to Ha Long Bay. The staff of Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan received us. Although Tuan Chau International Port has not entered the peak season, a large number of international and domestic tourists already flocked to this famous place. All of them were ready for exciting adventures.

Tourists enjoy making spring rolls on Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan.

Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan (Heritage Binh Chuan) was inspired by the name of the famous ship of businessman Bach Thai Buoi, who was known as the “King of ships” in Vietnam. According to Tran Cao Thang, Manager of Heritage Binh Chuan, the name “Binh Chuan” reflects Bach Thai Buoi’s dream of revitalizing national industry and trade and his aspiration to build a more prosperous and unified nation. Thang expressed his hope that when seeing the cruise, Vietnamese people would recall historical memories of businessman Bach Thai Buoi’s first "Made-in-Vietnam" ship. For foreign tourists, Heritage Binh Chuan is seen as a symbol imbued with Vietnamese cultural and spiritual identity.

Heritage Binh Chuan is the combination of modern architecture and pure Vietnamese cultural space, showing Vietnamese values of culture, history, art and cuisine in the early 20th century. The cruise was designed in the architectural style of Indochina in the 1930s. Along the cruise’ lobby, there are some pictures of ancient Indochina and Vietnam, paintings by painter Pham Luc, and Vietnamese costumes from the 1930s.

New directions pushed up

Adding cultural and historical values to tourism products is the direction of Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan; however, the direction has not been popular in Vietnam yet.

Recently, at a conference on Quang Ninh tourism development in 2023, most of the participants affirmed that the province’s achievements in tourism are undisputed, but they have not been commensurate with its tourism potential.

Nguyen Van Hung, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, recommended Quang Ninh to create more typical and unique tourism products to serve tourists. With plentiful and special tourism resources, the province should develop its own brand products associated with culture and history. It is the global trend for sustainable tourism development.

Addressing the conference, Assoc. Prof., Dr. Pham Hong Long, Dean of the Faculty of Tourism of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vietnam National University, Hanoi) said each tourism product should feature a compelling story, so that it could make visitors come back.

With more than 20 years working in the tourism sector, Chairman and General Director of Lux Group Pham Ha shared that tourists from Europe often care about architectural culture, lifestyle, traditional festivals and cuisine. They are fond of sleeping in villages and listening to stories about the locality. His group has focused on the customer-centric strategy. Therefore, his staff is willing to say hello, thank you and apologize to customers. He is dreaming of making Vietnam more prosperous and beautiful. Moreover, people working in tourism really hope that Vietnamese sea is always blue, clean, and beautiful to attract more visitors from all over the world.

Written by Minh Nha

Translated by Quynh Oanh