Da Nang: Let off fireworks to attract tourists

Aiming to build a green and touristy city, Da Nang will organise periodical international firework festivals to attract tourists, said Da Nang Chairman Tran Van Minh.

  05/11/2008 10:28
To prepare for the second international firework festival from March 27-28, 2009 on the banks of the Han River, Minh and Joe Ghazzal, CEO of the Global 2000 Firework Company (Malaysia), recently signed a $502,000 contract. Under this contract, Global 2000 will produce fireworks for and manage the contest. Da Nang authorities will also pay all the insurance for the event.
However, many people say that it is wasteful that Da Nang is spending over half a million US dollars to organise a firework contest, especially in the current economic situation. Da Nang’s Chairman Tran Van Minh talked about this.

“With the idea of turning Da Nang into a green and touristy city, we are organising this firework festival in a bid to create an attractive tourism product to advertise Da Nang’s image and attract tourists to the city. 

Actually, the first festival lured a lot of local and foreign visitors to Da Nang and the central region as a whole. It also contributes to building a brand for Da Nang.
Spiritually, the festival is a cultural event that serves the local people and tourists from everywhere. Economically, Da Nang and central provinces can earn a lot of income from visitors. All of these prove that this is not a waste!

We think it is a proper policy to hold an annual international firework festival with funding from sponsors, not from the state budget. The Prime Minister praised the success of the first festival this March and allowed us to turn it into an annual event, to build a brand for Da Nang.

We are urgently preparing for the second festival next March. However, some don’t support our policy. We welcome constructive opinions and we hope that the media will report our policy accurately and objectively.

The idea that Da Nang “bought” this festival is inaccurate and offensive. We aren’t leaving the whole job to the foreign partner. Global 2000’s participation is just a link in the whole programme. 

Some numbers were also inaccurate. For example, $100,000 is the insurance level. If incidents occur, compensation will be paid based on that level. It doesn’t mean that we have to pay that amount to the foreign partner. 

It is also inaccurate to say that the first firework festival attracted around a mere 3,000 visitors. At that time, all hotels in Da Nang were overloaded and the number of flights to the city was increased but we still couldn’t meet the demand. 

Could you reveal something new about the second festival in 2009? 
Last year three foreign and one domestic team took part in the event. Next year the number will be five teams from Spain, Australia, China, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The Spanish team won the first prize at the Malaysia International Firework Contest 2008. The Australian team took first prize at the Malaysia International Firework Contest 2007. The Chinese team performed at the Olympics in Beijing and the Philippine team won first prize in a firework contest in that country. Da Nang’s team will represent Vietnam at the festival.

Outside the festival, we will unveil new tours and organise sea-related tourism activities, food festival, etc. 

According to the Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, around 30,000 visitors came to Da Nang during the first international firework festival this March.

More than 12,000 hotel rooms were occupied though prices rose by 30%. Some travel agents had to hire hotels in Hoi An and then transport tourists from Hoi An to Da Nang to watch fireworks.

(Source: VNN)

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